.Watsonville Plane Crash Victims ID’d

Victims of the rare, mid-air collision include a 32-year-old Santa Cruz man

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Coroner has identified the three victims in a mid-air collision between two airplanes on Aug. 18 above Watsonville Municipal Airport. 

Carl Kruppa, 75, and Nannette Plett-Kruppa, 67, both of Winton, California, were aboard the Cessna 340 twin-engine plane, while Stuart Camenson, 32, of Santa Cruz, was flying solo in a Cessna 152 single-engine plane.

All three people were pronounced dead at the scene. Officials at the scene also said a dog aboard the larger plane was killed in the crash.

The cause of the crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration.

Witnesses say the planes collided as the Cessna 340 attempted to land at the small Santa Cruz County airport. That plane skidded across the airfield before crashing into a hangar.

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The Cessna 152 crash-landed on the outskirts of the airfield near Buena Vista Drive, just a few 100 feet from a suburban neighborhood off Freedom Boulevard.

Camenson was a UCSC graduate who went on to work in the university’s IT department. He was also a cast member of Cabrillo Stage’s recent production of Candide.

In a statement, UCSC said it was deeply saddened by the tragedy.

“Our thoughts are with their family and friends during this difficult time,” the statement read.


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