Posted: Oct 19, 2010 11:13 PM by Ariel Wesler
Updated: Oct 20, 2010 7:45 AM
The crash in Mexico will not stop the Flying Samaritans from going ahead with plans for future aid missions, according to the group's president Victor Jones.
The plane went missing Friday afternoon, shortly after leaving Ensenada. Saturday night, the wreckage was discovered in rough terrain about 30 miles south of the city. Authorities say the plane hit a 3,900-foot hill and then slid down to a mesa.
We're getting our first look at video of the crash site, where a small plane went down Friday killing four medical volunteers from San Luis Obispo County--Graciela Sarmiento, Roger Lyon, James Thornton and Andrew Theil.
After the plane disappeared, Chris Lyon, the son of the pilot Roger Lyon, got a helicopter and flew his own search operation.
"It was the helicopter he was in that actually located the wreckage. They then called the marine helicopters and let them know," Jones said.
He would not speculate on the cause of the crash. Family members have gone down to identify the three bodies pulled from the wreckage, but it's unclear if a fourth body is still missing.
Mexican newspapers reported a fourth body was recovered yesterday morning. We don't know that. We don't have any confirmation, so we're still waiting for that," Jones said.
The Flying Samaritans are planning another trip to the region next month and say it would be a dishonor and disservice if they didn't go.
"They went believing that what they were doing was the right thing. We believe that what they were doing was the right thing and those of us who do it will continue to do it," Jones said.
He says the Mexican Consulate and the U.S. State Department are working with the families to bring the bodies back to California as soon as possible, but there is a lot of paperwork.
He says the process could take several days before all the bodies are back home.
Memorial plans have been set for one of those killed, Doctor Sarmiento. The public memorial will take place Friday at 1 p.m. at Saint Patrick's Church. That's on Fair Oaks Avenue in Arroyo Grande.
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