The pilot and three passengers who died when their private plane crashed in a remote area near Agua Dulce Sunday morning have been identified by the pilot’s son, according to published reports.
Jackson Hastings told the Los Angeles Times and multiple other media outlets that the victims were his father, Thomas Hastings, 65; Thomas Hastings’ daughter Amber Hill, 27; her husband, Jacob Hill, 25; and her daughter, Madison Hastings Saxelby, 9.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, however, was still withholding official identification pending legal notification of next of kin, Ed Winter, assistant chief coroner, said Monday afternoon.
Hastings, an experienced pilot from Winnetka, and his passengers were reportedly returning from a family trip to Las Vegas when his Cirrus VK-30 crashed in the 30500 block of Briggs Road, on a hillside in rugged terrain between Highway 14 and Soledad Canyon Road.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department reported receiving calls about the Briggs Incident at about 10:54 a.m. Sunday, according to its Twitter feed.
L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies from the Palmdale station also responded to the scene. First responders discovered a small aircraft had crashed and confirmed that all four of its occupants were deceased.
National Transportation Safety investigator Jackie Vanover is on the scene looking into the cause of the crash, Eric Weiss, NTSB spokesman, told SCVNews early Monday afternoon.
Weiss said Vanover is investigating the crash scene, looking for items like GPS or cell phones that might help retrace the plane’s final flight path, and interviewing possible witnesses to the crash.
Weiss said a preliminary report on the crash is expected within five to 10 business days, but the complete investigation into exactly what caused the crash may take up to two years.
Photo Credit: Austin Dave, Santa Clarita Valley Signal[/caption]