Santa Monica Plane Crash Victims Identified
Three of the bodies removed from a plane that crashed Sunday at Santa Monica Airport were identified by authorities Friday.
Lauren Winkler, 28, of Irvine, was identified Friday morning as one of four people who were killed in the crash, according to Kristy McCracken of the Los Angeles County Coroners Office.
Kyla Dupont, 53, of San Diego, and Mark Benjamin, 63, of Malibu were identified by coroner’s officials later in the day.
The fourth victim has not been officially identified, but a Southland construction company on Monday issued a statement indicating that Benjamin’s adult son may have been on the plane.
“We are aware of a plane crash at Santa Monica Airports last night. While we do not have specific facts, we believe that our President and CEO, Mark Benjamin, and his son, Luke Benjamin, a Senior Project Engineer with us were on board,” read the statement issued by Charles Muttillo, vice president of Morley Construction.
Benjamin’s son, Luke, was 28.
The Cessna Citation, which had departed from Hailey, Idaho, went off the right side of a runway and struck a hangar at 6:20 p.m. Sunday, according to Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman. The hangar then collapsed.
Santa Monica firefighters responded to the crash site and extinguished a fire that sent plumes of black smoke into the air.
Fire personnel not immediately able to access the wreckage due to the collapse of the hangar, authorities said.
NTSB investigators arrived shortly after the crash, but said the building was too unstable to enter.
Two cats and a dog were also aboard the jet.