Statements From Family Members ID All Victims on Board During Fatal Riverside Plane Crash
The family of one of the surviving victims of the Riverside plane crash on Wednesday released a statement identifying three of those on board.
Nouri Hijazi and Dana Hijazi, along with their adult daughter Stacey Joanne Pierce, were on the Cessna 310 that went down shortly after takeoff Monday. The plane was departing Riverside Municipal Airport en route to San Jose when it crashed into a home.
Authorities have said three people on board died and two adult women survived, but they have not identified the victims. They have described those killed as an adult woman, adult man and a teenage girl.
Pierce survived after she and another adult female passenger, Silvia Farelas, were thrown from the plane. Farelas’ son identified his mother as a survivor and his 22-year-old sister Adine Farelas as one of the passengers who died. He spoke to San Francisco Bay Area television station KGO Tuesday.
Pierce’s relative released a statement asking supporters to pray for her recovery, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
“I know how dedicated she is to her husband and kids and that will give her the strength she needs to fight,” the statement read.
Pierce is being treated at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, the Mercury News reported. Authorities have said the woman being treated there is believed to have third-degree burns over 90 percent of her body.
The family statement described Nouri Hijazi as an “extremely experienced pilot,” saying it was his hobby and passion. The plane was registered to him, federal records show. Authorities have not said which person on board was flying the plane.
His wife, Dana Hijazi, was devoted to their daughter – Pierce – and their four grandchildren, the statement said.
Silvia Farelas is being treated at Riverside Community Hospital. Her family is the subject of a GoFundMe page set up to help them in the wake of the crash.
The two families were returning from a cheerleading conference at Disney California Adventure Park where a younger Farelas sister and Pierce’s daughter were competing, the Mercury News reported. The younger Farelas sister and Pierce’s daughter returned home with their middle-school teammates via bus.
Officials have not addressed the apparent discrepancy between their statements about one victim being a teenage girl and the emerging identities of those involved. It’s not clear if authorities mistakenly believed Adine Farelas was a teen.