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Vigil held to honor UPS driver killed in Santee plane crash

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Posted at 4:07 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 20:03:05-04

SANTEE, Calif. (KGTV) — A candlelight vigil will be held to honor the UPS driver who was killed in the Santee plane crash on Monday.

Steve Kruger, 61, of Pacific Beach, had worked for UPS for nearly 30 years, was at least one of the multiple deaths in the crash.

“I’ve heard nothing but lovely things about him. Loved by so many of his customers,” said Suzanne Coleman, a longtime Santee resident who worked with one of Krueger’s friends to organize the vigil.

“We just want to show some love and support to everybody affected, it’s for Steve but it’s really for everyone touched by this,” she said.

The candlelight vigil will be held from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of Jeremy Street and Mast Boulevard.


"Next October was going to be his retirement time," Jeff Kruger, Kruger's brother, said. "Plan was to get a fully contained SUV, spend six months traveling through Alaska. Go off the grid. He was really excited to do this, an adventure. He never got to do this."

At around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, authorities began receiving reports about a plane down in on Greencastle Street near Jeremy Street, igniting a fire that engulfed two homes and a UPS truck.

The owner of the plane, Dr. Sugata Das, a Yuma Regional Medical Center cardiologist, died in the crash, according to the medical center, though officials have not confirmed Das was the pilot at the time of the crash.


Two other people, identified as Phil and Maria Morris, were hospitalized after the crash. According to the couple's son, Phil suffered injuries to his head, one side of his face, arms and legs. Maria suffered 3rd-degree burns on her head, face, arms and hands.

Two homes were also destroyed in the crash. GoFundMe campaigns have been started to support the two couples who lived in those homes.

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