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Three People Killed in Plane Crash Near Lake Elsinore

Emergency crews were initially called out to an area near the Ortega Highway for a reported fire— which they soon discovered had been sparked by a plane crash.

Part of the aircraft lay in the mountains near Lake Elsinore on July 6, 2014.  Photo courtesy: DailySoCal.com
Part of the aircraft lay in the mountains near Lake Elsinore on July 6, 2014. Photo courtesy: DailySoCal.com

Three people aboard a small plane were killed Sunday when it crashed in the Santa Ana Mountains, off the Ortega Highway near Lake Elsinore.

Firefighters were dispatched at 9:22 a.m. to an area close to the Lookout Roadhouse restaurant, in the 32100 block of Ortega Highway, in response to a small fire.

[RELATED:  A witness described seeing 'big flames' after the aircraft nosed down near his property in an interview with DailySoCal.com.]

Fire crews discovered the fire had been sparked by the plane crash, which occurred less than a mile south of the eatery, dispatchers with the Cleveland National Forest said.

The fire was contained to less than a half-acre. It was not known immediately known what kind of an aircraft had crash but there were three confirmed fatalities, the Riverside County Fire Department reported.

Images from the scene show the wreckage was scattered across the hilly area near Lake Elsinore. 

Officials have not yet released the tail number or other identifying information from the incident while they investigate at the scene. 

— City News Service contributed to this report. 


American Woman July 06, 2014 at 06:42 PM
Super sad
Average American July 06, 2014 at 08:40 PM
My friend was one of first on scene and it was almost directly across the street from The Lookout restaurant so yes, it was less than a mile from the restaurant.
VVV July 07, 2014 at 01:16 PM
I went up and saw the crash site from the Main Divide. It was not far below. While I'm not an expert, it appeared (since it was reported the plane circled twice before crashing) the pilot may have been trying to crash land on a open graveled parking area but (possibly because of the wind?) over shot the parking area and hit a tree line which bordered the parking area. This tore the wing off and the fuselage dropped into a shallow gully next to the tree line. Pure speculation, but to me it looked like he tried. It's sad indeed, and my heart goes out to the families involved.
Trinidad de la Torre July 12, 2014 at 03:02 PM
My neighbor grew up with a girl who, in this one crash, lost her father, the pilot, her husband, with whom she is currently pregnant, and her sister also lost her husband...SO SO sad!!! what a devastating loss!!!


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