Witnesses describe moments before deadly Riverside plane crash

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KGO) -- Witnesses are saying that the pilot of a small plane that crashed in Riverside tried and failed to start the engine twice before taking off after the rain had stopped.

Everyone on board is believed to be related and to have family in San Jose.

We know that the teenager on board that small plane was not from a school in San Jose. The school district says that all of their students returned home safely on a bus. They had been at a cheerleading competition at Disneyland.

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We have been able to confirm through neighbors that the people on board that Cessna 310 that came crashing down were associated with at least one member of the cheerleading squad.

Three people were killed when the plane registered to a San Jose man crashed about 24 hours ago.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board two women also on board managed to survive, but they remain in the hospital.

The plane clipped one house before crashing into a second, and a third house was engulfed in flames.

No one on the ground was hurt.

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The NTSB just started its investigation and talking to witnesses.

They will look into if there were engine problems since it appears that the pilot had problems starting the engine according to a few people who saw him take off.

"The plane itself is in quite a few pieces, spread over a debris field," NTSB Air Safety Investigator Stephen Stein said.

The San Jose Union School District told us the principal has been on the phone with parents who want more information on the victims.

The district will not release those names until they are made official.

"Not knowing is frightening to people," School Superintendent Denise Clay said.

There were counselors at the school available to students.

An early report on the investigation could come in five to 10 days, but it will take at least a year to have a full final report.
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