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Bodies of Plane Crash Victims Found in Desert

BAKER-( The bodies of two people believed to be a husband and wife have been located following a plane crash 10 miles north of Mountain Pass, just east of Baker.

A Beechcraft Bonanza 6-seater single engine airplane flew out of California City and was heading to Henderson Nevada. On Tuesday, January 20th Sheriffs Dispatch received word that the plane had went missing from the radar and all radio communication with the pilot of the small plane had been lost.

Barstow area Sheriff’s Deputies and Sheriff’s Aviation responded to the area to search for signs of a downed aircraft.

The search began at the Dagget airport hanger, which came back with no signs of the missing plane. The Night Desert Crew in 40 King3 responded from Apple Valley and conducted a search for over an hour in poor weather. The crew did not pick up any emergency locator signs nor did they see signs of a crash site.

Due to the low clouds and deteriorating weather conditions, their search area was limited to the estimated flight path and extended to the foothills of Clark Mountain in the northern section of Mountain Pass.

At approximately, 9:15 A.M., on January 21st, after the Henderson Airport had confirmed that the Bonanza had not arrived, members of the Civil Air Patrol located a crash site in the upper elevation of the west side of Clark Mountain and notified Sheriff’s Aviation. The crew located the crash site reported by the Civil Air Patrol and observed portions of the downed aircraft that matched the paint scheme of the missing Bonanza.

Due to the crash site’s location in extremely steep and rocky terrain and 30-40 knot winds, Sheriff’s Air Rescue 306 also responded. AR306 with Pilot Sergeant Al Daniel, Crew Chief Corporal Mike Ells and SBCFD Paramedic Eric Sherwin responded to the scene with a member of the NTSB, an investigator from the Coroner’s Division and a member of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. The severe winds in the canyon prevented close inspection of the crash site from the air, and the difficult terrain prevented the hoisting of personnel into the crash site, even in low winds.

This crash site was found to be old wreckage and unrelated to the current search.

On Wednesday evening, Sheriff’s Aviation was provided additional GPS coordinates from a SPOT Personal Locator Device that was onboard the missing aircraft. These coordinates were approximately 10 miles west of the original crash site on Clark Mountain. Deputies Ryan Conner and Carlos Quezada, in 40King3, responded to the coordinates and located a crash site with two deceased persons and a large debris field. Due to the remote location and darkness, Deputy Tommy Dickey, of Barstow Station, responded to the location to secure the scene.

On the morning of Thursday, January 22, 2015, NTSB and Sheriff’s Coroner personnel responded to the area with the assistance Barstow Search and Rescue to begin their investigation during daylight hours.

The Coroner will attempt to identify the deceased individuals and make family notification. The investigation is ongoing and updates will be provided as new information becomes available.

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