Plane Crashes in Porterville

November 27, 2008 7:49:16 PM PST
The plane went down around 9:00am Thursday, near Teapot Dome Avenue at Newcome Street.The family was flying from Redlands in Southern California to Porterville for Thanksgiving. Thick fog covered the area around the airport just before the plane crashed. Along with the foggy conditions, fire fighters had to deal with mud on the ground as they tried to rescue the family.

Sgt. Don Arnold, Tulare Co Sheriff's Dept. said "It was muddy and wet and there were some broken trees and we secured the scene so medical personnel could do their job."

Members of the Cemo family were the first witnesses of brand new Beach Bonanza plane crashing into an orange grove next door.

James Cemo Sr., Porterville said, "I was out back and the plane, I heard the motor just cut off and a smack and it cart wheeled into some trees"

"I was sleeping and then I just hear this loud thump and I woke up from it and then 5 seconds late I heard my dad screaming saying he thought there was a plane crash," said James Cemo Jr., Porterville.

The two rushed towards the crash site, looking to see if anyone was hurt. Smashed metal and broken glass was all that was left of the small plane, which was supposed to land at the Porterville airport only about one thousand yards away.

James Cemo, Sr. said, a man, woman and child were pinned inside the wreckage. The little boy and the man were in the front seat. The mother was seated behind them. "She was in the backseat, she was cut up but she didn't have any broken bones or anything just get help so we got help"

The woman suffered only minor injuries and has been released from the sierra view district hospital in Porterville. Her son and the man driving the plane are listed in critical condition and have been transported to community regional medical center in Fresno.

The NTSB and the FAA are expected to be on scene here tomorrow to try and figure out why the plane crashed.

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