Small Cessna crashes in Southern California, killing 6

By Jen Krausz on
 July 10, 2023

Six people were killed early Saturday morning when a Cessna aircraft crashed in a field just outside French Valley Airport in Murietta, California after a missed approach, likely due to heavy fog that rose unexpectedly in the area just before the landing.

The plane was found engulfed in flames at 4:15 a.m. The fire burned approximately an acre before it was contained.

The pilot signaled that he was going to approach for a second time after missing the first approach, but he crashed 500 feet short of the runway.

The six who were pronounced dead at the scene included Riese Lenders, 25, of Rancho Palos Verdes; Lindsey Gleiche, 31, of Huntington Beach; Manuel Vargas-Regalado, 32, of Temecula; Abigail Tellez-Vargas, 33, of Murrieta; Ibrahem Razick, 46, of Temecula; and Alma Razick, 51, of Temecula.

The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration are both investigating the crash, the second in a week at the airport.

"It was very foggy this morning. It was almost like you were in a snowstorm where you can't see a couple feet ahead of you," local Patrick O'Neil told NBC Los Angeles. "So, just getting to work was very challenging. I can only imagine trying to land any type of plane, you know, here at the French Valley Airport."