4 dead, incl. 2 kids, in plane crash

August 4, 2008 5:12:40 PM PDT
A small plane crashed into a seaside house in heavy fog early Monday, killing two people aboard and two children in the vacation home it struck, authorities said. A third child was unaccounted for after the crash, which apparently occurred soon after the plane took off from nearby Seaside in northwest Oregon.

The single-engine plane clipped a tree and then plowed into the house, followed by explosions. A second, vacant home nearby was heavily damaged.

The pilot and his only passenger were also killed. Their identities were not immediately released.

The four-seat Cessna was owned by Aviation Aventures in Seaside. The company had rented it to the pilot, city officials said.

The impact shook homes a half-mile away in this resort town. Rebecca Herren, who lives about a block and a half from the crash, said she was in bed when an explosion rocked her home before 7 a.m.

"I heard the plane above and thought, 'Gosh, it's awfully low and awfully early,"' she said.

She then heard two smaller explosions.

When the plane crashed, six people were in the four-bedroom rental home at Gearhart for a family reunion and vacation, City Admninistrator Dennis McNally said. A mother and two children were flown to Portland for treatment at a burn center, said Michael Griffiths, executive director of the emergency transport service Life Flight.

Two more people in the family party had gone out for a walk before the crash and were uninjured, McNally said.

The names of family members were not released.