Brother of SoCal plane crash victim: 'I realize exactly what I'm losing'

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KGO) -- A family member of one of the Southern California plane crash victims is speaking out about his loss in the South Bay.

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Silvia Farelas survived the fiery plane crash in Riverside. Her 22-year-old daughter Adine did not.

They were returning from a cheerleading competition in Southern California where Adine's younger sister competed.

The Union Middle School student arrived safely back in San Jose by bus with the rest of her team.

Her 19-year-old brother is left trying to cope with the loss of their big sister. "Even at times we didn't get along so well, argue back and forth like brothers and sisters tend to, she would always be there for me," Brandon Farelas told ABC7 News. "I appreciate her so much. Now I realize exactly what I'm losing."

Silvia and Adine were flying with friends. The Cessna plane crashed into homes near Riverside Airport, exploding into a massive fireball, killing three people on board.

"I give all the glory to the big man upstairs," said Farelas. "I don't know how else to put it into words. It's just a miracle."

A cafe owner near the airport was the last person to see the pilot alive. She said he appeared worried and attempted to take off three times. "I was so worried even the last moment they left," said Delmy Pennington. "I said, 'Why are they leaving?'"

Farelas said his mother was worried about flying in the weather. His attention is now on his younger sister. "To help her in the future become a strong woman like my mom and sister," he added.

Farelas said his mother has had surgery on her arm and is being moved to the burn unit for a second surgery.

RELATED: Witnesses describe moments before fatal Riverside plane crash

The NTSB is investigating what happened.
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