Mark Bixby, Long Beach Scion, Four Others Killed in Fiery LBC Plane Crash

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Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 6:02 PM

click to enlarge The aftermath of today's Long Beach plane crash. - AIRCRAFTSNL VIA TWITPIC
  • aircraftsnl via Twitpic
  • The aftermath of today's Long Beach plane crash.
Update: Another of the deceased was identified, after the jump.

Mark Bixby, a scion of the family for which Long Beach's upper-middle-class Bixby Knolls neighborhood is named, was one of four people who died when a private plane crashed just after takeoff from Long Beach Air Port, City News Service reports.

Bixby was vice president of Bixby Land Company and had a wife and three children.

Other area developers perished in the 10:37 a.m. crash:

-Long Beach developer Tom Dean, owner of the Beechcraft King Air plane, and his partner in Studebaker Properties, Jeff Berger.

The identities of two other fatalities had yet to be made public.

click to enlarge Mark Bixby
  • Mark Bixby

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that the sole survivor was Mike Jensen, the owner of Pacific Retail Partners. He was said to be critical.

The paper reports the victims were headed to Park City, Utah for a ski trip.

Ugly photos of the burned out plane indicated what happened: The plane crashed shortly after takeoff and burst into flames.

A witness described what happened to City News Service:

Mario Rodriguez, director of airport operations, said witnesses reported

the plane getting off the ground, then banking hard in an attempt to return to runway 30. The plane apparently touched down on the runway, but then crashed, burst into flames and skidded across a turf section of the airfield, leaving scorched debris trail. The tail section of the plane broke off, and the remainder of the fuselage was burned over.

It's amazing anyone survived.

Update: City News Service identified another victim as Bruce Krall.

Also: CNS reported that just recently "Bixby's company sold Studebaker Properties about 175 acres in the Los Cerritos Wetlands, and Studebaker later swapped 36 of those acres for a city maintenance yard."

More from our sister publication OC Weekly.

History: Bixby is a descendant of Jothan Bixby, who helped found Long Beach. He and family members purchased Rancho los Cerritos in 1866. The family held on to the related adobe ranch house at 4600 Virginia Road, now a museum, until 1955.

The Bixby property included modern day Bixby Knolls, California Heights, North Long Beach and part of Signal Hill, an incorporated city.

More here.

First posted at 3:37 p.m.

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