South Bay News

Two people die in Watsonville small plane crash

Thursday, July 07, 2011
FAA begins small plane crash investigation (Courtesy Santa Cruz Sentinel) Watsonville small plane crash

On Thursday around 7:30 p.m., a small plane nose-dives into a hospital building and bursts into flames. The two people on board were killed; no one on the ground was injured. Now, investigators are trying to figure out what that plane went down.

The small plane had just taken off from the Watsonville Municipal Airport when, moments later, it slammed into a building at the adjacent Watsonville Community Hospital.

The FAA arrived on the scene around 11 p.m. and the National Transportation Safety Board was expected to join them. Those two agencies will be the ones in charge of investigating the crash.

The plane landed not far from the Watsonville Community Hospital's main building. Instead, it crashed into another neighboring facility that housed the Coastal Women's Health Care's billing department and it was closed when the plane crashed.

The plane was a four-passenger, single-engine, 1974 Mooney M20F registered out of Santa Cruz.

Witnesses say the plane took off from Watsonville Municipal Airport, which is less than a half mile east of where it crashed. Before it hit the building, it skidded through the parking lot.

"We never imagined something like this could have happened, especially right in our building because it's a hospital and it's pretty big, so it could have landed anywhere, but we're kind of lucky we were not there," said Rocio Puente, a Coastal Women's Health Care employee.

ABC7 spoke to the fire chief and he confirmed that the two people inside the plane died.

No one on the ground or in the clinic was hurt. The hospital was also not impacted by this. No patients were evacuated and no care was interrupted.

Investigators have not yet released the identities of the deceased passengers.

Some of the photos KGO used in the video are courtesy of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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watsonville, plane crash, south bay news, lisa amin gulezian
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