On December 21, 2005 at approximately 9 pm, a red and white Cessna 172
with four people onboard crashed in the hills of Coyote Lake Park. Three
eyewitnesses described the plane as having engine trouble shortly
before it was seen slamming into the rocky hillside just west of the
park. The plane was enroute to Fresno from San Martin airport.
The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team began a systematic search
of the park. The plane’s transponder stopped functioning at 1 am and,
due to the inclement weather, the search teams were not able to
On December 22, search teams from San Mateo, Alameda
and Contra Costa Counties, as well as the Civilian Air Guard, joined
the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office in the continued search of the
At approximately 8:30 am the missing plane
was located by a Civilian Air Guard search plane flying overhead.
Members of the search and rescue teams hiked to the planes location. The
small Cessna had crashed into a heavily wooded hillside and burst into
flames. The pilot and all three passengers were found deceased in the
wreckage. It is unclear what caused the accident.
Clara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SCCSSAR) Team's mission is to
provide highly trained search & rescue resources to Local, County,
State and Federal Government Agencies in times of emergencies.
Additionally, the team is committed to the furtherance of Preventative
Search and Rescue (PSAR) and Community Preparedness Education. ###