Neighbors, church members moved by plane crash death

Neighbors, church members moved by plane crash death »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — In a quiet cul-de-sac neighborhood, residents are reacting with grief and sadness over the news that a local family was on board when a plane crashed in the Arizona desert.

"We had no idea," said Scott Stewart. "They're very quiet ... they keep to themselves, and just a good family."

According to the Mohave County (Arizona) Sheriff's Office, 48-year-old Vidson Chan was the pilot of a small, single-engine plane that went down Thursday morning about 40 miles southeast of Kingman.

On board the plane were Chan's wife, 49-year-old Josephine, and the couple's 13-year-old son, Cody. Josephine did not survive the crash.

But, their son managed to crawl out of the wreckage and call 911 on his cellphone.

"He was a brave young man," said Trisha Carter, spokesperson for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office. "He gave us a lot of information, which really assisted us in locating and having the reasonable other agencies to assist us to locate them."

Father and son suffered broken bones and were taken to different hospitals in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Another family member, Audrey Chan, was not on board the plane. She was on a church mission at the time.

The Chans were very active in their church, First Presbyterian Church and its affiliate, Chinese Christian Church of Bakersfield. Flags at the church were lowered to half staff in the family's honor.

A next door neighbor to the Chan family, Joleen Lopez, lit three candles outside her home in the family's memory.

"They are in our hearts, our family is praying for them and their safe recovery," said Lopez. "And for Josephine, that you know that she is in Heaven and that we're thinking of her and that we hope she is looking down at her family."