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Four people killed in plane crash in hospital parking lot in Watsonville [Updated]

Two adults and two children were killed in Watsonville when their small plane crashed in a hospital parking lot and skidded into an unoccupied medical office building, authorities said Friday.

Nobody on the ground or in the hospital was injured in the crash, which occurred shortly after the single-engine, 37-year-old Mooney M-20 took off from Watsonville Municipal Airport at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

“Because of the quick response by the Fire Department, no evacuation was necessary,” said a spokeswoman for Watsonville Community Hospital. “All areas of the hospital remain operational, including our emergency room.”

Authorities on Friday had not identified the people who died, but local media outlets were reporting them to be a Santa Cruz couple and their two children en route to a family reunion.

[Updated, 8:30 p.m.: The victims were identified late Friday by friends and relatives as a Santa Cruz family: David Houghton, wife Dorothy and their sons, Luke and Ryan. They were said to be on their way to a vacation outing near Yosemite.‬‪]

The National Transportation Safety Board had investigators at the scene Friday trying to determine the cause of the crash.

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-- Steve Chawkins

 
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