4th victim dies from Riverside plane crash

ByABC7.com staff via KABC logo
Thursday, March 9, 2017
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A fourth victim, 46-year-old Stacey Pierce, died a week after a Riverside plane crash.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- A fourth victim, a 46-year-old mother of four, has died more than a week after a small plane crashed into two Riverside homes, her family confirmed to Eyewitness News.

Stacey Pierce had been in critical condition after the Cessna 310 aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from the Riverside Municipal Airport on Feb. 27.

"She was just a beautiful person inside and out," her husband Richard Pierce said. "She was the love of my life. I can't even wrap my head around going forward without her, but we have four kids, so I'm going to stay strong and support them through all this."

Stacey Pierce underwent a third surgery on Tuesday after she suffered third degree burns to much of her body. Doctors had amputated both her legs in an attempt to save her, but following Tuesday's surgery, her husband said she never reopened her eyes.

"They said we can keep her on life support or we can keep her comfortable. So the family made a decision to just keep her comfortable," Richard Pierce explained.

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Fire crews worked to put out the flames and save anyone inside a home after a plane crashed into it in Riverside on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.

The three victims who died the day of the crash were identified as Nouri Hijazi, 83; Dana Hijazi, 67; and Adine Farelas, 22. All were from San Jose.

The now lone survivor, Sylvia Farelas, suffered severe burns over much of her body and has undergone multiple surgeries since the crash.

Authorities said Nouri Hijazi had flown the group from San Jose to watch his granddaughter's cheerleading competition at the Disneyland Resort.

Shortly after takeoff from the Riverside Municipal Airport, the plane apparently clipped one home, crashed into another, and the fire engulfed a third home near Rhonda Road and Dewey Avenue, officials said. The latter two structures were destroyed, and a fourth residence was also damaged.

MORE: Riverside man recalls plane crashing into his home

Upon impact, officials said the plane split in half. No one on the ground was hurt in the incident.

There were no immediate indications of what caused the crash. Weather in the area 60 miles east of Los Angeles had included rain, but authorities did not say if that played a role in the crash.

"All day the weather was bad so they kept waiting and waiting," Richard Pierce said. "I asked her to go get on a commercial flight and I just put all my faith in Nouri being the pilot that he is and the experience that he had."

Stacey Pierce's daughter and another young teen who had gone to the competition made it home safely to San Jose on a bus with their team.

The team they were watching, Union Middle School from San Jose, won the competition, according to ABC7 sister station KGO-TV.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the Pierce family. To learn more, click here.