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Officials identify victims of plane crash in Tehachapi Mountains

Officials identify victims of plane crash in Tehachapi Mountains
Officials have identified the three occupants of a plane that crashed in the Tehachapi Mountains last week. (Los Angeles Times)

Medical examiners have identified the three occupants of a plane that crashed in the snowy Tehachapi Mountains last week, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Ruben Piranian, 74, of Granada Hills; Felipe Iniguez Plascencia, 53, of Whittier and Marina Villavicencio, 38, of Yorba Linda, all died at the scene of the crash, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

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One of the victims’ remains was found Saturday, when a helicopter flight crew lowered a member down to the wreckage, said Angela Monroe, a spokeswoman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. The body was not covered by the snow or wreckage. The other two bodies were found Sunday evening, when search-and-rescue teams did a more thorough examination of the wreckage by ground, Monroe said Tuesday.

The twin-engine Beechcraft was on a flight from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles when the Kern County Sheriff’s Office received calls about 10:30 p.m. Thursday that the plane was overdue. Search crews scoured the snow-capped mountains. Much of the wreckage was buried under about 5 feet of snow. The crash occurred on the side of the mountain that had no access roads, Sgt. Steve Williams said.

What led to the crash is unclear and the incident remains under investigation, Monroe said.

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