West

1 dead after small plane crashes into California driveway

A small plane grazed the roof of a Southern California home and crashed in a driveway Thursday, killing one person and critically injuring another, authorities said.

Both victims were aboard the single-engine plane that went down in a residential cul-de-sac in Santee, Fire Chief Richard Mattick said. Nobody on the ground was hurt.

The survivor was breathing when extricated from the wreckage and rushed to a hospital, according to San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Jim Bolwerk. The other person died at the crash site.

The aircraft glanced off the roof of a home in the small suburban city about 15 miles northeast of downtown San Diego. It caused damage to some tiles before striking two vehicles and crashing into the driveway, Mattick said.

The plane flipped and landed upside down but caused no explosions or fire, said Mattick, who was at the scene. The sheriff's office had said earlier that there was a small fire.

Greg Thomas, who lives in the area about a mile from Gillespie Field airport, said he was working on his computer when he heard the plane get into trouble.

"It was sputtering very badly," he told KSWB-TV. "A few seconds later it was followed by sounds like a car crashing."

The Piper Cherokee crashed shortly after takeoff from Gillespie Field, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, Gregor said.