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Neighbors recall sights and sounds from deadly Santee airplane crash

People describe moments before, after plane crash
Concern n
Posted at 10:24 PM, Oct 11, 2021

SANTEE, Calif. (KGTV) – There were piles of twisted metal, debris, and charred homes near the corner of Jeremy and Greencastle Streets in Santee following a deadly airplane crash on Monday afternoon.

"Just crazy. Absolute craziness,” Andrew Pelloth, a neighbor who lived across the street from the crash, said.

Some neighbors told ABC 10News what they heard and saw regarding terrible tragedy that claimed two people’s lives.

"I heard a loud plane. And I thought to myself he's flying low,” William Procter, a neighbor, said.

Another neighbor, Michael Bowen, who has lived in the area for 45 years, said he’s heard planes flying overhead and can hear when they’re flying lower than usual.

"And it sparked my interest and before I could even get outside where I could turn around and look, it went over and hit the ground,” Michael Bowen, a fellow neighbor, said.

Bowen told ABC 10News that the plane first hit the street, then made contact with a UPS truck before hitting two nearby homes.

"When I heard the explosion, the entire house shook,” Pelloth said.

After running to tell his daughter-in-law to call 911, Bowen rushed toward the wreckage to check in on if any neighbors were home.

"First thing I did was run by the UPS truck,” Bowen said.

"When I ran by the truck, I didn't see him in the truck. Then my focus went to going over to the house to see if the people that lived in the house were out."

Bowen said there were a group of other people at a home on the corner that was just starting to get engulfed in flames when he got there.

"Finally, Maria came to the window. She had been in the house looking for her dog. She had got burned. Her hair was singed, and her face was burned trying to find her dog,” Bowen said.

“They got her out of the house. Fortunately, the husband was in the backyard, and he got out okay."

Bowen said seeing other people head into the fray to help someone was a great thing to see happen.

"I don't think anybody was thinking oh my God what's going on. It's just to make sure that people are out. Once we got her out and everybody got back and then you know now you start thinking. A lot of people came up there,” Bowen said.

“There was a lot of people helping out. It was kind of refreshing to see so many people."

It was a moment in time that has some neighbors thinking.

"It's horrific what happened. But I'm very lucky it didn't hit my house. I mean, so close. It's very tragic,” Pelloth said.

"Things like this kind of bring that, 'You never know,' Another 100 feet closer, it could've been me you're talking about,” Bowen said.

Bowen told ABC 10News that he was also grateful that the plane didn’t hit a home head-on and that he felt the UPS driver was in the wrong place and the wrong time. Adding that he knew the man and he was a nice guy.