Thousand Oaks teen, his family die in Oregon plane crash

HARRISBURG, Ore. (KABC) -- A Thousand Oaks teenager and his family died after a single-engine plane they were on crashed in a grass field on its way to Eugene, Oregon.

The crash happened shortly before 11 a.m. Friday, according to Linn County sheriff's officials. The 1984 Piper PA-46-310P aircraft had left Van Nuys around 7:22 a.m.

The plane was approaching the Eugene Airport when witnesses in Harrisburg said they saw the aircraft flying at a low altitude. It suddenly turned and crashed into the grass field, about two miles north of Harrisburg, sheriff's officials said.

Authorities said the passengers in the plane were identified as John A. Zitting, 42, his wife Karen Blackmore Zitting, 37, and their son John Brendan Zitting, 17, all from Thousand Oaks. The pilot, Mark Gregory Aletky, 67, was from Acton.

John Zitting had hired Aletky to fly his family to Eugene, authorities said. Autopsies on Aletky and Zitting were conducted Saturday.

The investigation into the crash was ongoing. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Association were helping in the investigation.
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