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Neighbors in St. Helena, Calif., remember plane crash victims

March 23, 2009 |  2:13 pm

Flowers and a note are seen on the front porch of the home of the Jacobson family in St. Helena, Calif. In the Northern California town of St. Helena, one of the families that died in the Butte, Mont., plane crash lived in a four-bedroom, Craftsman-style house with a white picket fence on a road dotted with vineyards. Erin and Amy Jacobson and their three children were among the 14 killed in Sunday's crash.

On the Jacobson family's doorstep today was a bouquet of yellow daffodils tied with a pink ribbon and a note that read: “We love you all, Amy, Erin, Taylor, Ava and Jude –- Our Angels!”

A neighbor out jogging said the young couple had lived in the community for the last five years. Erin was an eye surgeon and Amy worked as a part-time dental hygienist. Taylor was 6, Ava was 3 and Jude was 2. Erin's father was a heart surgeon at St. Helena Hospital.

“They’re a wonderful family,” said the teary-eyed woman, who did not want to be identified. “Erin grew up here and came back to start his practice near his dad’s. The whole community is just crushed. We’re all praying for the family.”

Another neighbor, Lola Benson, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1953, said she occasionally talked to the couple across the fence. She said the children were always outside playing. The backyard has a jungle gym and swing set with a slide.

“I loved to hear the kids squealing, laughing and having fun in the backyard,” she said. “I will miss that. I look out and see their car in the driveway and think I will never see them taking their children out again and that makes me sad.”

Dorothy Morrison, another neighbor, said she used to see Erin riding his motorbike in the neighborhood with his younger daughter, Ava. She said Erin and Amy were planning a mission trip to Guatemala with their church in the near future.

“They were very nice people,” she said.

-- Maura Dolan

Photo: Flowers and a note are seen on the front porch of the home of the Jacobson family in St. Helena, Calif. Dr. Erin Jacobson, his wife, Amy,  and their three children, Taylor, 4, Ava, 3, and Jude, 1, were killed along with nine others when the plane they were in crashed in Butte, Mont. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

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