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Family remembers 3 victims of deadly plane crash in San Bernardino County

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Family members who lost loved ones in a deadly plane crash in San Bernardino County late last month are speaking out and remembering those taken too soon.  

According to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson, the single-engine Beechcraft P35 crashed during departure at Cable Airport in Upland on the morning of July 30, killing all three people on board. 

“I’m still in shock,” Kelly Hitchins, who lost three family members in the crash, told KTLA. “I have holes in my heart.” 

Hitchins lost her husband, Craig, her son Blake Epperson and her brother, Jeff, who was piloting the plane.  

“At first, I just didn’t believe it,” said Trever Epperson, Blake’s older brother. 

He told KTLA that Blake was in town from his home in Maine for a family birthday party and a camping trip. 

“He was just a very dedicated father, brother, friend,” Trever said.  

“He was hilarious. Everybody loved Blake,” Kelly added.  

Blake and the others had gotten up early that Sunday morning and planned a one-hour flight before breakfast for fun. They had just taken off when the single-engine plane climbed radically and then plunged into the front of a hangar.  

“Nothing will ever be the same now for any of us on more levels than I think we can even comprehend right now,” Trever said.  

The focus now, according to Kelly and Trever, is on Blake’s family and his three children, in particular. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for them.  

Blake Epperson and Family
An undated photo of Blake Epperson, who died in a plane crash in Upland on July 30, 2023. (Bailee Epperson via GoFundMe)

“We’re hoping to accomplish putting something away for them, investing it so that it can grow for them, so that they can have something to help them when they’re of age,” Trever explained.  

In the meantime, funeral services still need to be held. They were delayed because the coroner did not positively identify Blake’s remains until Wednesday.  

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