Imperial military plane crash recalls similar 2008 University City crash

UNIVERSITY CITY - Two military planes crashed in the span of six hours Wednesday in Southern California, including one that crashed into three homes in Imperial.  

“I'm so surprised, why that can happen again?” asked Sunny Dhuang Wednesday night.

Dhuang’s home in the San Diego neighborhood of University City was obliterated in 2008 after a U.S. Marine F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet fell from the sky, destroying two homes and killing four people.

Six years later, the memories are still painful and hard to even think about.

“I cannot see anything, I don't want to see,” Dhuang said.

Dhuang cannot stomach the sight of images from Wednesday’s crash in Imperial County, what happened to other family homes is just too familiar.

“It crashed into our house, and yeah, everything is gone everything from beginning.”
No one was home at the time. However, Dhuang’s neighbors of 10 years – a mother, her two baby girls and their grandmother– were all killed.

“Every time when I saw, I look over there, I feel so sad, I still remember them,” she said.

An investigation revealed the pilot had a mechanical failure and was trying to make an emergency landing at Miramar. However, he did not make it there, ejecting safely before the aircraft destroyed the block.

A retired Air Force accident investigator told 10News the pilot in Wednesday's crash, who also survived, will once again be the key in figuring out what went wrong.

“They’ll talk to him, they'll be able to investigate, it’s amazing how much you can tell from the wreckage,” retired investigator Rich Martindale said.  
‘I don't want it happen again, I hope they can learn from the lesson and don't do,” Dhuang said.

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