Witnesses recount moments before Mill Bay plane crash Monday

Witnesses recount moments before Mill Bay plane crash Monday
WatchWitnesses recount moments before Mill Bay plane crash Monday afternoon, and details are emerging about pilot at the helm of the two seater.

The trouble started with a plane flying overhead just before 1:30 p.m. on Monday.

Locals watching as a two-seater Beech G36 aircraft with two people onboard circled a neighbourhood in Mill Bay.

Jack Wilke was at the local skatepark and saw the plane circling.

“And then it came downwards. from like that way, and it just came downwards, and I heard some like crumbling. And then I heard all the emergency vehicles come through.”

Then moments later, the plane dived into a forested area, right next to a home.

“I actually was back there, and I heard some big ‘poof’,” Wilke said. “And the dude’s yelling, ‘fire!”

While it crashed just metres from a garage, igniting several small fires, meanwhile the family is inside their home.

Mill Bay Fire chief Ron Beck said it appears the plane nose-dived between trees near the property.

“Their experience was they said the ground shook. They looked outside and saw a plane.”

With temperatures above 40 C, several fire departments arrived with enough crew so personnel can be relieved in the heat.

One person was transported via air ambulance with critical injuries, the other by ambulance.

RELATED: Small plane crashes into residential neighbourhood in Mill Bay, two in hospital

Laura Burger, a manager at Jusu Bar in Victoria, says she knows the pilot, Bruce Mullen, and his daughter Kaitlyn.

“Bruce is recovering from surgery, they are keeping an eye on him because of the amount of smoke he inhaled. And so he is recovering as best to my knowledge. And from what I know Kaitlyn broke a leg.”

Mullen regularly flies with his 14-year-old daughter Kaitlyn up the coast to Sechelt where he now lives.

While living in Saanich, Mullen and his son Brandon started Jusu Bar after the death of his wife in 2010.

Burger was one of the first employees when the Cadboro Bay location opened in 2014.

“I love Bruce,” Burger said. “He’s been so good to me over the years. I’ve been with the company 6.5 years. And so he likes everything done his particular way.”

The Transportation Safety Board is not deploying investigators to the crash site, but is working to determine the cause of the crash.

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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