Victims’ identity still not known |

Victims’ identity still not known

An El Dorado County coroner was still working Tuesday to positively identify three men and a woman who died last week in a plane crash.

“We had an autopsy performed last night,” said Tom Hill, acting coroner on the case. “Three died of blunt force trauma to the chest and one from extensive burns. With blunt force trauma like that, death was probably instantaneous.”

Hill said he hopes to positively identify at least three of the crash victims by Wednesday.

“I have three dental records, if on the fourth victim we can’t obtain the records we will conduct exclusionary identification,” he said.

It’s a process that uses the testimony of witnesses or a person’s specific medical conditions to identify the body, Hill said.

The privately owned plane, a single-engine Piper Malibu, went into a dive about three minutes after taking off Sept. 1 from Lake Tahoe Airport. It clipped a 90-foot pine tree before it crashed into several pine trees and exploded into flames.

The wreckage was strewn across an empty lot just feet from two homes at Washoan Boulevard and Acoma Circle.

Saturday, the National Transportation and Safety Board and manufacturers of the plane investigated the crash site.

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