YORBA LINDA (CBSLA) – The Yorba Linda community came together Thursday night to support grieving relatives who lost four family members in a plane crash over the weekend.
“Now the whole nation is gonna know what an amazing family this family was. How generous and what beautiful people they were, and the beautiful hearts they had, and we’re all blessed by God above to have every single of one them in our lives,” one mourner said.
People gathered by the hundreds to honor 85-year-old Roy Lee Anderson and his wife 68-year-old Dahlia Marlies Leber Anderson, her daughter-in law 48-year-old Stacie Norene Leber and Anderson’s son-in-law Donald Paul Elliott.
“They used to come to our house every week for Bible study. Karen helped me plan retreats at our church. I just couldn’t believe it happened to them,” friend Jackie Chambers said.
Neighbors showed up to bring light to the darkest loss their neighborhood has ever experienced.
“The world lost some very good people. But they’re celebrating heaven right now,” friend Patty Crozier said.
At 1:45 p.m. Sunday, just 10 minutes after taking off from Fullerton Municipal Airport, Antonio Pastini’s twin-engine Cessna exploded in midair and broke apart, with a portion of the plane slamming into and destroying the home in the 19000 block of Crestknoll Drive.
The 75-year-old pilot, the sole occupant of the plane, died along with the family inside the home who was preparing for a Super Bowl party.
Friends said Elliott dedicated his life to God after he was almost killed by a truck 17 years ago.
“We know where he is, and that gives us grace. He walks without a wheelchair now. He’ll see with both eyes, and he’s running the streets of gold and seeing Jesus face to face,” friend Nancy Nelson said.
Friends say Elliott’s wife Karen and her son were inside the home when the plane crashed. They were treated for burns and are home recovering from their physical wounds.
Neighbors hope their show of support will help her and other family members heal from the emotional wounds.
“I’m just praying they’re all OK and they can stick together as one,” neighbor Payton Hughes said.