A victim of Sunday's plane crash in Santa Ana, California, took one final photo hours before the plane’s nosedive led to the deaths of herself and five other passengers.
Floria Hakimi, a real estate agent in Diablo Valley, uploaded a photo of herself captioned, "Flying out to LA," as she boarded the twin-engine Cessna that eventually killed her and four colleagues.
All five on board, including Hakimi's son Navid Hakimi, Lara Shepherd and Nasim Ghanadan, were real estate consultants. The pilot, Scott Shepherd, owned the consulting firm, Category III.
The group was on their way to a real estate conference in Orange County from Northern California when witnesses said they saw the plane nosedive before crashing into a car in a shopping center parking lot at about 12:30 p.m.
"I saw the plane come around and I realized it was probably going to come down," witness Alex Perkins told KCBS. "It just banked. He turned and it just came straight down.”
The Orange County Fire Authority, who responded on the scene, said they were lucky the crash wasn’t as deadly as it could have been. The car’s owner was fortunately inside the mall shopping when their car was hit.
“I don't know what this pilot did or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic,” Orange County Fire Captain Tony Bommarito said. “This is a Sunday afternoon and we have people shopping. So the fact that there was no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself."
Bommarito explained the plane was on its way to nearby John Wayne Airport, and it is possible the pilot intentionally avoided people on the ground during the plane’s collision to limit the number of casualties.
The FAA confirmed the pilot, who had reportedly renewed his license last year, declared an emergency just before they crashed, and will work with NTSB authorities to investigate the cause of the crash.