Golfers ending a round at a San Diego-area golf course rushed to try and save passengers trapped in the wreckage of a small plane Monday.
When Robert Bartolomucci of Santee stepped up to tee off on the 9th hole just before 1 p.m., a plane buzzed over his head.
“It almost hit me. I was on the tee box up here and it came straight at me and just off to the right side maybe about 10 feet above my head,” Bartolomucci said.
The single-engine plane crashed near the 11th hole, leaving a trail of debris on the course.
“Looked like he missed that electric pole there and the wing hit the ground on the left side and just flipped him over. That was it,” he said.
Bartolomucci didn’t have time to move between the time he spotted the plane and the time it crashed. Once it landed however, his group and two other foursomes of people ran toward the plane.
They broke it open and at first, didn’t see the passengers in the front.
“The two in the back were moving at the time,” he said. “One of the guys cut the strap off so they could breathe because they were both bent over backwards under the plane.”
One of the golfers talked to the victims including a little girl who Bartolomucci said was in “bad shape.”
“He told the little girl in the back seat, ‘Just hold on the paramedics were on the way,’” he said.
When rescue crews arrived, they found one person dead – a woman who has not been identified. One adult man was transported to the hospital and three children were transported to Rady’s Children’s Hospital. All the injured are in critical condition, suffering from life-threatening injuries according to San Diego Fire Rescue spokesperson Maurice Luque.
Luque said firefighters were initially notified of a plane having trouble closing a door. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.