EL CAJON, Calif .– The other two victims killed in this week’s unincorporated El Cajon plane crash were identified by the San Diego County medical examiner’s office on Wednesday.
The office said Julian Jorge Bugaj, 67, and Douglas James Grande, 45, died when their Learjet 35A plane crashed Monday night in the 1200 block of Pepper Drive. They were identified using “special fingerprinting” techniques, according to a county spokesperson.
Two other victims, Tina Ward and Laurie Gentz, were not named by the office, but were confirmed as victims by organizations linked to them.
In a brief summary provided by the office, the process continues to identify Ward and Gentz - both listed as Jane Doe – before notifying their families. They expect both cases to take longer to resolve, with one potentially being identified by dental records by the end of the week and the other requiring DNA testing that could take “several months. “.
Gentz was identified as the president of the local union of the Massachusetts International Association of Paramedics and Paramedics on Wednesday morning, the organization said. in a social media post.
“President Gentz will be sadly missed by all who knew her and by all those who benefit from her selfless contributions to organized work in the Greater San Diego area,” the post read.
Ward, an onboard nurse on the jet and wife of retired Oceanside Deputy Fire Chief Joe Ward, was mourned Tuesday night in a social media post by the 3736 Oceanside Firefighters Association.
“We are shocked and saddened by this devastating news and we keep you all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” the union said.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators are continuing their investigation into the accident. On Tuesday, an initial NTSB report revealed that the small jet had crashed just over a mile from the approach end of the runway at Gillespie Field, which was its intended destination after taking off from the John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
No one on the ground was injured in the accident. A house was subsequently damaged and the result cut power to more than 2,500 San Diego Gas & Electric customers in the area.
As details continue to pour in about the crash, local aviation and aviation medicine communities mourn the losses of the four victims.
Rick Mosteller, who has been a private pilot since the age of 19 and has worked in the airline medical industry for over 15 years, said: “We all come together as families when an accident like this happens.
“The community remains really focused on pilot training, maintenance, and bad weather avoidance to reduce risk,” Mosteller said.
Mosteller now runs the Cirrus training center focused on pilot training at Palomar Airport in Carlsbad. Although he did not know any of the crew aboard Monday’s tragic crash, he said he was still heartbroken for the close-knit groups of people in their respective industries.
The loss was felt throughout the San Diego community, with Mosteller saying, “Our hearts are with their families.”
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