IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Four killed when plane crashes into Calif. house are identified

The house they were in caught fire after a twin-engine Cessna crashed in Yorba Linda just hours before the Super Bowl. The pilot was also killed.
Image: Yorba Small Plane Crash
A National Transportation Safety Board worker takes a photo of an engine that came to rest against a house in Yorba Linda, Calif.Paul Bersebach / The Orange County Register via AP

Police on Wednesday identified the four people who were killed when the house they were in caught fire after a small plane crashed in their Southern California neighborhood over the weekend.

Orange County Sheriff's Department officials identified them as Roy Lee Anderson, 85, and Dahlia Marlies Leber Anderson, 68, a married couple of Yorba Linda; Stacie Norene Leber, 48, of Corona; and Donald Paul Elliott, 58, of Norco.

The four were in the house Sunday when the twin-engine Cessna crashed in Yorba Linda, near Anaheim.

"Our family bond is tight, and each member lost in this tragedy represents more than just one role within our family," the family said in a statement released by the sheriff's department.

"We lost parents, grandparents, great-parents, spouses, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles. The home lost was a beacon for so many family and friends where many celebrations were held," the family said.

The pilot, Antonio Pastini, 75, of Gardnerville, Nevada, was also killed, authorities have said.

Elliot Simpson, an aviation accident investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, has said that the Cessna took off from nearby Fullerton at about 1:35 p.m. It climbed to about 7,800 feet and then "began a rapid descent," he said.

The crash occurred around 10 minutes later, at 1:45 p.m., authorities have said.

The airplane appeared to break up in the latter stages of the flight, Simpson said. He said there was no report that the pilot had made any distress calls before the crash.

A burned out house and vehicle on Crestknoll Dr. in Yorba Linda, Calif on February 4, 2019 after a small plane came apart in mid-air and crashed a day earlier.Paul Bersebach / The Orange County Register via AP

Pastini had a badge identifying him as a former Chicago police officer, but the sheriff’'s department said Tuesday that they don’t believe the credentials are legitimate, and Chicago police said he was never a member of the force. The Federal Aviation Administration said it has no record of any accidents, incidents or enforcement actions against Pastini.

Pastini's daughter, Julia Ackley, told NBC Los Angeles that her father owned a sushi restaurant in Nevada and a tree farm in Oregon. She described him as an experienced pilot who had flown for decades.

"I just love him more than anything," she told the station. "I miss him more than anything."