2 Plane Crash Victims From Mission Viejo

Times Staff Writers

Two people killed when their light plane collided with another plane over the San Gabriel Valley were identified as a father and son from Mission Viejo, authorities said Sunday.

Robert H. Kagarice, 44, a supervisor for Southern California Edison Co., and his son Todd, 15, were killed when their single-engine Cessna 152 crashed in a residential neighborhood in Temple City, about 15 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

The plane crashed about 8 feet from the home of retired Walt Disney animator Walter Kimball at 2:13 p.m. Kimball, his wife, Betty, and daughter Kelly were inside but were not injured.

"You could hear the plane coming full throttle," said Kimball, an experienced pilot himself. "When it crashed, it sounded like an earthquake. It left a giant hole in the ground."

Kimball said he could tell the plane was still full throttle from the sound, and he could see the tail section missing. "Once the tail is lost, you have absolutely no control. The plane simply makes a dive toward the earth," Kimball said.

The plane's tail section was found a half-mile away, and debris was scattered for several blocks, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials said.

Kagarice belonged to a local flying club and flew almost every weekend, a family friend said. Todd Kagarice was a freshman at Mission Viejo High School.

Cause Not Determined

On his telephone answering machine, Kagarice's voice could be heard light-heartedly telling callers that if he did not answer the phone, he was probably off flying. Friends said he kept his plane in Riverside.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators were at the scene of the crash but had not determined a cause of the collision, authorities said.

While NTSB investigators usually finish a preliminary investigation of the crash site and aircraft involved in a few weeks, the results are then sent to Washington, where it may take NTSB officials several months to make a formal ruling on a cause.

The second plane involved in the collision, a twin-engine Cessna 411, landed safely at Burbank Airport, about 10 miles away, with its left propeller severely damaged.

Authorities said the pilot, whose name was not released, was heading to Van Nuys Airport on a business trip from Fullerton Municipal Airport when the collision occurred.

An official with the Federal Aviation Administration said both planes were flying under visual flight rules and were not in contact with any FAA facility. The unidentified pilot "probably did a really good job of being cool," said FAA inspector Ladd Scott. "He brought it in here and landed it, so it was flyable."

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