4 Killed in Santa Monica Plane Crash ID'd

The coroner identified three victims and the fourth victim was identified by his former employer

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Four passengers were killed in a plane crash at Santa Monica Airport Sept. 29, 2013: Lauren Winkler, 28, top left; Mark Benjamin, 63, top right; Luke Benjamin, bottom left; Kyla Dupont, 53, bottom right.

    All four bodies pulled from the wreckage of a fiery plane crash at Santa Monica Airport this week were identified Friday.

    Lauren Winkler (pictured, below), 28, of Irvine, was one of the four who died in the wreck, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's office.

    Winkler worked as a leadership director for the non-profit Save a Child's Heart organization. A tribute was posted on the group's Facebook page.

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    Lauren Winkler, 28, was laid to rest at a private service on Friday after being identified as one of the four victims killed in Sunday’s crash of a private jet at Santa Monica Airport. Winkler spent a year as the young leadership director for the “Save a Child’s Heart” charity and will be remembered by loved ones for all the lives she touched. Angie Crouch reports from Santa Monica for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4, 2013.

    "It is a very sad moment for Save a Child’s Heart as our past Young Leadership Director, Lauren Winkler, tragically passed away. We will remember her energy that filled up any room, her lightness and her love for our children. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends."

    Kyla Dupont, 53, of San Diego, and Mark Benjamin, 63, of Malibu, were killed in the crash, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner.

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    A fiery crash at Santa Monica Airport killed four people, and now residents in the coastal city are calling attention to an expending airport that they think should be turned into a park. Angie Crouch reports from Santa Monica for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2013.

    A fourth victim has not been positively identified by the coroner's office, but according to Santa Monica-based Morley Buildings, it is Luke Benjamin, son of victim Mark Benjamin.

    Mark Benjamin was CEO of the construction contracting company, and his son was a senior project manager, said Morely Buildings, the company behind some high-profile buildings in Southern California, including Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles and the Getty Villa Museum.

    The twin-engine Cessna Citation they were traveling in veered off the runway after landing Sunday and crashed into a storage hangar. The burning wreckage sent a column of black smoke over the airport as the metal hangar collapsed around the plane.

    Responding fire officials described the crash and fire as "unsurvivable." Two women, two men, two cats and two dogs were aboard the plane, officials said.

    Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter told NBC4 that the federal government shutdown that began Tuesday might force the NTSB to suspend its investigation.

    NTSB officials said there is "an indication" the plane had a cockpit voice recorder. The pilot did not indicate there was a problem with the plane and authorities could not confirm Monday that the landing gear's tire was damaged during the landing, NTSB officials said.

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