All 6 victims ID'd after small plane crashes in California amid dense marine layer

Victims ID'd as Abigail Tellez-Vargas, Riese Lenders, Manuel Vargas-Regalado, Lindsey Gleiche, Alma Razick, Abraham Razick

ByAmy Powell KABC logo
Monday, July 10, 2023
Fiery CA plane crash kills all 6 people on board, officials say
A small plane crashed in a field Saturday in Riverside County in Southern California, killing all six people on board.

MURRIETA, Calif. -- The six people who died when the small plane they were on crashed in Riverside County, California as it attempted to land for the second time at the French Valley Airport have been identified.

The collision happened early Saturday morning in Murrieta. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a 1979 Cessna C550 business jet departed from Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas at around 3:15 a.m.

A marine layer enveloped the area shortly before the twin-jet airplane was scheduled to land at the French Valley Airport. It crashed short of the airport during its second approach around 4:15 a.m., killing all six people on board, officials said.

On Sunday, the Riverside County sheriff's-coroner office identified the victims as follows: Abigail Tellez-Vargas, 33, of Murrieta, Riese Lenders, 25, of Rancho Palos Verdes, Manuel Vargas-Regalado, 32, of Temecula, Lindsey Gleiche, 31, of Huntington Beach, Alma Razick, 51, and Abraham Razick, 46, both of Temecula.

"The pilot reported to air traffic control that he was going to perform a missed approach, which generally happens when the pilot can't see the runway," said Eliott Simpson of the NTSB at a press conference Saturday.

Air traffic control cleared the pilot for the missed approach and then cleared the pilot to land again after its first approach. The pilot crashed 500 feet short of his intended runway, and the aircraft, excluding the tail, was engulfed in fire.

Witnesses confirmed the dense fog in the area Saturday morning.

"It was very foggy this morning. It was almost like you were in a snowstorm where you can't see a couple feet ahead of you. So, just getting to work was very challenging. So, I can only imagine trying to land any type of plane, you know, here at the French Valley Airport," said Patrick O'Neil, who works at Moon Valley Nurseries.

The deadly crash marks the second time in the past week a plane has crashed near the French Valley Airport. On Tuesday, a pilot was killed when a single-engine Cessna 172 crashed near the airport.

Both crashes remain under investigation.