A small airplane crashed in a residential neighborhood late Wednesday, killing 3 people in a fiery impact that destroyed a car and engulfed palm trees in flames.
Three people on board the plane died, said Riverside Fire Battalion Chief Mike Esparza. No one on the ground was hurt.
Esparza said that witnesses said the plane started having trouble soon after taking off from Riverside Municipal Airport, less than a half mile away.
Steve Kiser said he was outside his home when he saw the plane coming toward him, barely clearing the power lines. He said the plane veered then nose-dived onto the street.
"I knew he wasn't going to make it," Kiser told the Riverside Press-Enterprise, adding the plane sounded like it had engine trouble. "It blew up and all the trees caught fire."
Said Esparza: "The pilot did one heck of a job avoiding these homes and preventing anyone else from being hurt."
Firefighters received calls of the crash just after 10 p.m., and when they arrived the plane was engulfed in flames, Esparza said.
Video of the scene showed firefighters dousing flames over the smashed remains of the plane and a car.
It was the third plane crash in Riverside County in a little more than a month.
Four people suffered minor injuries Tuesday when a small plane crash-landed in a brush-covered canyon near Murrieta.
On Jan. 20, two small planes collided over Corona, killing five people, including one on the ground hit by falling debris.
Tags: airplane, plane, crash, accident, Riverside Municipal Airport, killing 3, damage, wreck
Location: Riverside, California, United States (load item map)
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