Four Flying Samaritans killed in Baja plane crash
October 16, 2010
Four members of the San Luis Obispo County chapter of Flying Samaritans, a medical volunteer group, were killed Friday afternoon when their private plane crashed about 90 miles south of Tijuana. [Tribune]
The team was en route to San Quintin, a small coastal town that is home to one of the few hospitals in Baja. Rescuers found the wreckage Saturday after the plane, piloted by attorney Roger Lyon of Cayucos, was reported missing Friday evening.
Also on board the plane were Dr. James Thorton and Dr. Graciela Sarmiento, both of Arroyo Grande. Andrew Thiel, a medic and Cal Poly student also died in the crash.
Weather reports indicate that the plane, a 1973 Beechcraft Bonanza A36, encountered dense fog while navigating a mountainous area. Authorities lost contact with the plane after 7:30 p.m.
Friday’s accident was not the first fatal plane crash for the cross-border charity organization. On May 21, 2000, three of its charity members were killed when their small plane crashed about 180 miles south of Tijuana in Mexico.