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Plane crashes into house off Highway 68 Tuesday morning


UPDATE 7/15/2021 11:40 a.m. The Monterey County Regional Fire district confirms to KION that there was a flare-up at the site of the plane crash Thursday morning.

The agency reports that it was minor and they canceled all responding units except those that had already arrived. They could not confirm if the flare-up happened inside the house or the surrounding brush.

UPDATE 7/14/2021 5:40 p.m. The CBS affiliate in Sacramento confirms that the passenger on the plane that crashed in Monterey is identified as Rancho Cordova resident Alice Diane Emig.

KOVR reports that she was identified by family, and her Weiner dog, Toby, was also in the plane when it crashed.

According to the station, the plane that took off from the Monterey Regional Airport was on its way to Mather Airport in Sacramento County.

Those in the plane at the time of the crash are presumed dead, according to investigators.

UPDATE 7/14/2021 2:15 p.m. A spokesperson for the NTSB held a news conference Wednesday to share more details about a plane crash in Monterey.

Eric Gutierrez said the multi-engine Cessna plane left the Monterey Regional Airport at about 10:40 a.m. and started climbing to the right and climbed to about 1,900 feet. He said air traffic control noticed that the plane was heading toward terrain and provided a low-altitude alert and vectors.

The plane continued to the right and started to descend until it hit a house on Monterra Ranch Road.

Gutierrez said no people or pets were in the house at the time of the crash. He said two people were on board the plane during takeoff. Family members identified Mary Ellen Carlin as the pilot.

Now the NTSB is working to document the scene of the crash, collect evidence and use data to develop a probable cause. Gutierrez said they are still not sure why the pilot went in that direction or why the plane started to descend.

He said the plane will be taken to a secure facility to be processed and examined. Investigators will also be looking at maintenance records.

UPDATE 7/14/2021 11:30 a.m. CORRECTION: The Monterey County Regional Fire District says a post with the account name MCRFD sharing that a pilot, passenger and dog were lost in a plane crash was not released by their agency. They are not confirming who was in the plane or any deaths.

Deputy Fire Marshal Dorothy Priolo tells KION that she has spoken to the person who posted the information and has asked them to take it down because it included information that was not officially issued by the agency.

"We strive to release information that is officially confirmed, even if there is other discussion in social media, particularly with an aircraft incident," she said.

UPDATE 7/13/2021 11:40 p.m.  The investigation into the plane crash is just beginning as investigators of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board arrive on Wednesday.

Local authorities say the house is being monitored by a deputy on Tuesday night so that no one gets close.

"My understanding is the pilot is still presumably in the plane," said Thornberg.

KION spoke with a neighbor that lives on the same street as Carlin, the pilot, and owner of the plane.

"It's devastating to even imagine the possibility of her being harmed is really sad. Just hoping and praying that she's ok and that everyone who was involved was ok," said Lindsey Rawlings.

Local authorities say they are not able to move the body of the victim until federal authorities can come in.

UPDATE 7/13/2021 5 p.m. Family members confirm with KION that Mary Ellen Carlin of Pacific Grove was the owner of the plane that crashed into a house Tuesday morning.

Carlin's son tells us that she was also the pilot of the Cessna 421 at the time of the crash.

He said they have not received information about Carlin's condition or where she may be.

UPDATE 7/13/2021 2:30 p.m. A brush fire surrounding the site where a plane crashed into a house on Monterra Ranch Road has been contained, according to Deputy Fire Marshal Dorothy Priolo with the Monterey County Regional Fire District.

Priolo held a news conference to provide updates on the response to the crash Tuesday afternoon.

She said the agency was first called to the area at around 10:45 a.m. for a report of a plane that crashed into a house. When they arrived, they found that the plane had crashed, starting a fire at the house, but debris that fell around the house also created spot fires.

Priolo said only one home was directly involved, and firefighters were able to contain the fire in the surrounding brush to about an eighth of an acre.

She said the house was about 60% involved when firefighters arrived, and they are not sure whether the house can be repaired. It had a sprinkler system, but Priolo said because of the impact, it was not able to put out the fire.

The agency did not have any information about whether anyone was in the house at the time of the crash or the condition of those in the plane.

The FAA and NTSB have responded to the area to conduct their own investigation.

UPDATE 7/13/2021 11:15 a.m. The Monterey County Regional Fire District confirms that a small plane crashed into a house near Highway 68 and Monterra Ranch.

Crews are currently working to put out the fire at the house, but the agency said three more engines have been requested to work on the fire extending into the brush nearby.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Monterey County Sheriff's Office confirms that a small plane has crashed in the area around Jacks Peak County Park.

The park is near the Monterey Regional Airport.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office says they believe one person was on board, but deputies just got to the scene.

KION has a crew on its way to the scene.

This is a developing story. Keep checking back for updates.

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Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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Stephanie Aceves

Stephanie Aceves is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.



  1. KION, if you want to know who owned the plane and other info, the info is available from Carmel Pine Cone who just sent a bulletin to its readers with lots of info.

  2. The plane is owned by Mary Ellen Carlin of Pacific Grove, a flight instructor. It’s believed the plane crashed right after takeoff, after a steep right turn, possibly due to the failure of a left engine which could cause that abrupt direction change. Still not known how many may have been onboard. (Above from Carmel Pine Cone)

  3. “Deputy Fire Marshal Dorothy Priolo tells KION that she has spoken to the person who posted the information and has asked them to take it down because it included information that was not officially issued by the agency.” Oh, well, EXCUSE USSSSSS, for wanting to know more than we are fed by the government. Yes, someone released the names first, so what? Getting news solely from official sources is a slippery slope I never want to see us on. Yeah, yeah, it may not be accurate, but, it was. No harm, no foul.

    1. The issue with this is that we want to make sure it is confirmed and families are notified before we put anything out. We don’t want to be the ones to alert family and friends that their loved one has died. There is also the possibility of being wrong. Investigators say those in the plane are presumed dead, but until bodies have been recovered, we can’t say for sure that they didn’t somehow survive. We try to put out the most accurate information we can.

  4. According to a good friend and pilot, “The axiom “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate” teaches pilots to fly the airplane first, then Navigate, and once the situation is under control, Communicate.” If the pilot was intensely engaged in trying to keep the airplane flying, whether it be from a myriad of possible mechanical issues, health issues or 1,000 other possible issues that might have occurred, it would not be surprising that the control tower received no reply from Ms. Carlin. We’ll all just have to wait and see what the investigating authorities discover.

  5. The FAA briefing really gave no new or relevant information, just a reiteration that the airplane was heading in the wrong direction and did not respond to calls for correction, which everyone already knew. No probable cause was mentioned.

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