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Santee plane crash victims were flight instructor, student

Two people killed in a plane crash Thursday morning in Santee were a flying instructor and his student, according to the San Diego County medical examiner.

Jeffrey Johnson, 50, of El Cajon, and his instructor, Robert Sarrisin, 59, of Rancho Penasquitos, flew out of Gillespie Field in Santee about 9:10 a.m. Thursday for a one-hour “touch and go” flight. Within minutes, the plane began to sputter and stalled, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The single-engine 1981 Piper Warrior II plane headed back toward the airport but didn’t make it. About a mile from the airfield, it began to drop and hit a home and three cars before slamming upside down into the driveway of a home in the 9500 block of Corte de la Donna, officials said.

Sarrisin was killed by the crash impact and was pronounced dead at the scene. Johnson died from his injuries at a hospital about 90 minutes later.

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The accident sparked a small fire but a resident put it out with a garden hose before firefighters arrived, said Santee Fire Division Chief Richard Smith.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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