Family of Auburn plane crash victims mourn and wait for answers

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AUBURN, Calif. (KTXL) — As investigators look into what caused a plane to crash in Auburn on Friday, a family is mourning.

A father and son were killed when the plane went down in a backyard near Dry Creek Road.

Mena Hoopes is finding comfort that her father and brother died doing what they loved.

“They passed away together, they passed away flying. I mean that brings us a lot of solace,” said Hoopes. “At the airport, they were referred to as ’the Tonys.’ And they were inseparable.”

80-year-old Anthony Wright Sr. and his 55-year-old son Anthony Wright Jr. were killed when their beloved WWII era plane went down Friday morning in Auburn.

“My brother has crashed planes before. This was not something new,” said Hoopes. “He got injured but then he was fine. So when I was told that he crashed again I didn’t panic.”

Wright Sr. was a retired attorney and Wright Jr. was just six weeks away from retiring from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s office, where he worked the last 23 years.

“It’s still unreal. It still doesn’t seem real,” Hoopes told FOX40.

Wright Jr.’s son, Brandon, said he’ll always remember his father and grandfather working to refurbish planes.

“As a kid,  we’d go and they’d be working on it. Me and my brother or something would just be in the hangar, you know, playing games with each other. And then grew up in those planes,” Brandon recalled.

Investigators are still looking into what caused the crash, while another person who was in the plane recovers from their injuries.

Brandon told FOX40 he’s trying to get in touch with the other victim, to learn what happened in his families’ final moments.

“Since we’re not family they’re not giving us any information,” said Brandon.

“We believe they’re up in heaven and now they’re having fun together up in heaven,” said Hoopes.

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