Update: Family identifies passenger killed in Marin Headlands small pl…


MARIN COUNTY (KPIX) — Family members on Saturday identified the passenger who died in a small plane crash in the Marin Headlands Friday.

Family told KPIX the passenger was Jennifer Fox of Sacramento, who went by JJ Fox.

Fox was a life coach and a beauty expert who owned a skincare business in Sacramento. Her family said it was a extreme loss, especially on this Mother’s Day weekend for her son and daughter, both in high school.

The family released a statement reading, “(JJ) was pure love and light and goodness.  This is an enormous loss to our family and our complete close-knit community.”

The pilot’s family told KPIX they are also devastated. They said they will release his name on Monday. They said the Sacramento man was a loving father and a confident pilot. He and JJ were close friends.

Authorities with the Marin County Coroner’s office announced on Friday they had identified the two people killed, but weren’t releasing their names pending next of kin notification.

Federal investigators and Marin County authorities said they planned to remove the aircraft from the crash site on Sunday.  

The fixed-wing, single-engine Vans RV-10 appeared to nosedive and crash into a steep hillside just northwest of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on Friday at 12:09 p.m.

The dramatically sight of a wrecked aircraft right above a popular pictureque lookout point near the intersection of Conzelman Road and McCullough Road caught many tourists by surprise. Instead of snapping photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, many tourists turned around to focus their cameras on the wreckage.

“It’s a gruesome scene, that’s for sure. It’s wild that it’s right here, too,” said San Francisco resident David Oare.

“Yeah, it’s just crazy to see something like that,” said Owen Bailey, who was visiting from Georgia.

Authorities said the impact killed both the pilot and passenger.  

“My heart goes out to the families and the friends of the people that were in the aircraft.  We get into this because we love aviation. Aviation is incredibly safe,” said Bay Area pilot Aaron de Zafra.

Flight Aware showed the experimental aircraft took off from Sacramento Friday morning.  The plane made a few loops above the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge before crashing at 12:09 p.m.

People who visited the Marin Headlands around the time of the crash said it was very foggy.

“Very low visibility, kind of misty,” said Bailey.

The National Transportation Safety Board said they’re looking at weather conditions and other factors as they try to pinpoint what caused the crash.

“I would encourage any witnesses to report any information that they may have that could be of use to the investigation,” said Eleazar Nepomuceno, an NTSB air safety investigator. Nepomuceno said they will release a preliminary report on the crash within 15 business days and the final report within one year.

The park service, the Marin County Sheriff’s office, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration are also investigating the crash.  

Da Lin

Da Lin is an award-winning journalist at KPIX 5 News. He joined KPIX 5 in 2012, but has been reporting the news in the Bay Area since 2007. Da grew up in Oakland, and before his return to the Bay Area, he spent five years covering the news at three other television stations in Texas, Southern and Central California. He also spent five years reporting at KRON 4.

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