Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Fatal Plane Crash Kills Five, Rains Bodies and Debris on Corona Car Dealership

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Two Sunday afternoon small-aircraft flights turned deadly yesterday when the planes collided mid-air over Corona, sending bodies and debris flying through the air and onto parking lots below and killing five people.

The owner of one of the planes, a Cessna 172, was not piloting the aircraft, and knew about the crash from having seen the television news. William A. Reinke from La Habra did not offer any information to the media regarding who was piloting his plane or who the passengers on board were. The second aircraft was a Cessna 150 which is listed as belonging to a company called Air Corona, Inc. in Dover, Delaware. Because the small Corona Municipal Airport does not have a staffed control tower, authorities investigating the incident are having a difficult time discerning what caused the crash that happened at about 3:35 Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, on the ground, investigators are sorting through the debris and wreckage that fell from the sky, landing atop vehicles, and at the Chevy Dealership, claiming one life. ABC news quotes eyewitness Hector Hernandez as he spoke with local KCBS-TV: "There were bodies falling out of the sky [...] One of them crashed into the top of a Ford Mustang, and another one fell not too far behind that one on the parking lot." Much of the smaller Cessna disseminated into several pieces after the impact, while the larger plane crashed near the Nissan dealership.

Support for LAist comes from

Two bodies from each of the planes have been found, but investigators will not know if there are more victims of the crash until they are able to work their way through all the wreckage.

Photo of a Cessna aircraft by BobMacInnes via Flickr