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Survivor Rescued 5 Hours After Plane Crashes on Hillside

Oceanside Plane Crash 012919

One man died and another man was trapped for hours after a plane crashed Tuesday on a hillside in Oceanside, officials told NBC 7.

The single-engine airplane crashed into the side of a hill on Canyon Drive near State Route 76, approximately 10 to 20 feet from the top of the ridge.

A driver spotted the crash around 7:14 a.m. and called 911, Oceanside police spokesperson Tom Bussey said.

When firefighters and emergency personnel made their way to the site of the crash, they found the pilot dead and a passenger suffering from major injuries including broken bones and cuts to his face, Bussey said.

The survivor told rescue crews the plane crashed over five hours before they were found which would put the crash at approximately 2 a.m., he added.


The passenger was freed from the aircraft wreckage and loaded onto a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department helicopter. He was flown to a nearby airstrip where a medical transport helicopter was waiting.

The unidentified survivor was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital by Mercy Air, fire officials said.


Eastbound SR-76 was closed due to the emergency response. Commuters were advised to avoid eastbound SR-76 between Canyon and Benet until further notice.

There were no plans to reopen eastbound SR-76 until crash investigators come up with a plan to safely remove the wreckage.

The crash occurred less than a mile west of Oceanside Municipal Airport.

FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor said there were two people onboard the plane. He said an investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were on the way to the crash scene.

The wreckage has been secured at the top of the ridge but police officials say they are not sure how they will remove it.

“It is pretty steep,” Bussey said. “We’ve got eastbound SR 76 closed for some time until they figure out how to get the plane off this hill.” 

Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.


Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
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Source: NBC San Diego

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