Pilots Killed in Plane Crash Identified
EL CAJON, Calif. (Dec. 29, 2021) – Douglas James Grande, 45, and Julian Jorge Bugaj, 67, both died along with two nurses in an El Cajon plane crash on Pepper Drive.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the two pilots who were among four dead following the plane crash Monday night in an El Cajon plane crash destined for the Gillespie Field airport.
Also killed in the collision were nurses, Laurie Gentz and Tina Ward.
The crash happened amid thick fog and rain about 7:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 27th near the 1200 block of Pepper Drive and North Mollison Avenue in the unincorporated Bostonia neighborhood.
Additionally, the four people who died were on the small jet operating as an air ambulance.
Plane Struck Power Lines, Exploded
The Learjet 35A business jet crashed to the ground after it reportedly clipped a power line and exploded. The aircraft had left John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana and was heading to the El Cajon airport. The Aeromedevac Air Ambulance was returning to its base at the El Cajon airport after flying a patient from Arizona to Orange County, news reports said.
Laurie Gentz joined Aeromedevac Air Ambulance as a part-time flight nurse in February, according to her LinkedIn account.
Meanwhile, Tina Ward, who previously worked as an emergency room nurse at Palomar Pomerado Health, is the wife of a retired fire chief, according to the Oceanside Firefighters Association.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are heading up the investigation.
The crash damaged one home, but there were no injuries on the ground.
Police closed down Pepper Drive between Topper Lane and North Second Street through Wednesday for the cleanup and investigation.
Johnson Attorneys Group does not represent any of the parties mentioned above. Furthermore, our law firm does not intend to represent those mentioned in the article. If you would like to contribute any information or have legal questions, please contact us as soon as possible. Our law firm is a longtime supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
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