Small Plane Crashes In SoCal Canyon, Injuring Four

A small plane crashed into a brush-covered canyon Tuesday afternoon, injuring all four people aboard, including a 7-year-old girl.

Rescuers responded at 1:21 p.m. and found the plane, its tail section broken off, near the French Valley Airport in southwest Riverside County.

The pilot, a 52-year-old man, along with two women, ages 34 and 48, and the girl were taken to local hospitals with minor to moderate injuries, Riverside County Fire Capt. Sean Dakin said.

Fire officials on Wednesday morning said they could not release the names of the injured or update their conditions.

Tuesday's crash was witnessed by Travis Turner, who said he was
on the roof of a nearby church talking to an air-conditioning maintenance worker.

Turner said the plane was flying so low when it came over the building that he "could see the bolts on the wings."

"It was just fluttering, (the engine) barely running, if at all," Turner said. "As soon as it cleared the building, it just dropped into the canyon."

Fire officials said when rescuers arrived on the scene, the 7-year-old girl and the pilot already had started to walk up a dirt path toward an unpaved road.

"To walk away from a crash like that is remarkable," said fire Capt. Fernando Herrera.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash, which occurred about 65 miles north of San Diego.


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