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Community Leaders Among 5 Dead in Long Beach Plane Crash

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Prominent real estate developers and a cycling advocate from one of Long Beach's founding families were among those killed when a twin-engine plane crashed shortly after taking off from Long Beach Municipal airport Wednesday morning.

Five men were killed, including the pilot, and a sixth passenger survived the crash with critical injuries.

Mark Bixby, 44, was an avid cyclist and civic leader, in addition to being a commercial real estate developer. He was a member of the family that purchased Rancho Los Cerritos in the late 19th century and developed the land into what would become Long Beach. Bixby Knolls is named for his family.

Real estate investor and retail developer Tom Dean and his business partner Jeff Berger also died in the crash. Dean's Studebaker Properties battled environmentalists in recent years over a proposed Home Depot Center on a large parcel of land that he owned near Los Cerritos Wetlands, eventually abandoning the plan.