Coroner identifies two victims of suspected midair plane collision

The Los Angeles County coroner has identified two men killed in an apparent midair plane collision off the coast of San Pedro earlier this month. 

The coroner's office identified the men, the occupants of one plane, as Martin Clement, 61, of Redondo Beach, and 80-year-old James Garber III of Harbor City. Their bodies were found two miles from the Los Angeles Harbor on Feb. 7.

They had filed a flight plan and flown out of the Torrance Airport, Coast Guard officials said. 

The crew and passengers of a private fishing boat alerted the Coast Guard on Feb. 5 that they saw a plane plunge into the water, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. A small debris field was found near the Point Fermin Lighthouse, officials said. 

Officials on Monday located a second plane, a Citabria, one mile west of the crash site and located a third, female victim, officials said. The female, the only person aboard the Citabria, has not yet been identified. 

The Federal Aviation Administration previously said there appeared to be two aircraft on radar before the crash, both of which then disappeared, leading investigators to believe there had been a collision.

"It is believed two aircrafts were involved in a midair collision, though this cannot be confirmed until further investigation has been completed," Capt. Jack Ewell of the Sheriff's Department said in an earlier statement.  

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