Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Plane nosedives into parking lot, 5 dead

Published:Tuesday | August 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM
The remains of a twin-engine aircraft that crashed near the South Coast Plaza shopping center are seen in Santa Ana, Calif. on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. Five people were killed aboard the plane that crashed on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018 and no survivors. No one was hurt on the ground, as the plane went down and hit at least one unoccupied car.

SANTA ANA, California (AP):

On a Sunday breezy morning, Floria Hakimi smiled as her photo was snapped on the steps leading up to a small plane that was supposed to usher her to a workshop for real estate agents in Southern California.

"Flying out to LA," she posted on her Instagram account with the photo of her donning sunglasses and a broad grin.

Later that day, the twin-engine Cessna 414 carrying the 62-year-old real estate agent and four others plummeted out of the sky and crashed into the parking lot of an Orange County strip mall, killing everyone on board.

Hakimi and two victims were co-workers at Pacific Union International, a San Francisco Bay Area real estate firm. One of them, 42-year-old Lara Shepherd, was married to the plane's 53-year-old pilot, Scott Shepherd.

Another was 29-year-old Nasim Ghanadan, who saw Hakimi as a mentor in the real estate industry, Ghanadan's brother said. Hakimi's 32-year-old son, Navid Hakimi, was also a passenger on the trip.

The group left Sunday for the Tom Ferry Success Summit in Anaheim, California, a business conference popular with real estate agents, said Terri Tiffany, a spokeswoman for Pacific Union.

Ghanadan loved to cook Persian and American food and loved dancing. She grew up in the Bay Area and was quick to make friends with just about everyone she met, said Aryan Ghanadan, her 19-year-old brother.

"She was just larger than life. Always, always laughing," he said. "Just always the life of the party."

The plane took off from Buchanan Field Airport in Concord, California, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilot declared an emergency but didn't state the nature of his problem before crashing about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from John Wayne Airport, striking four parked cars, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Albert Nixon said yesterday.