Santa Ana citizens are mourning the victims of a plane that crashed into the parking lot of a Costa Mesa mall Sunday afternoon, killing all five passengers on board.
An investigator says the pilot, identified as Scott Shepherd of Diablo, declared an emergency but didn’t “state the nature of his problem” before a Cessna nosedived into the Southern California parking lot.
The plane went down around 12:29 p.m Sunday afternoon and hit at least one unoccupied car in the parking lot of a Staples Supercenter, Concialdi told City News Service. Nobody on the ground was injured, and the owner of the damaged car was inside shopping at the time of the crash.
“With the pilot, we’re going to look at his currency with the airplane, we’re going to be looking at all the records that are associated (with him),” National Transportation Safety Board investigator Jack Vanover told reporters at the scene.
The victims of the crash were confirmed by the Orange County coroner’s office Monday: Navid Hakimi, 32, of Los Angeles; and Bay Area residents Scott Shepherd, 53; Lara Shepherd, 42; Floria Hakimi, 62; and Nasim Ghanadan, 29.
Here’s what you need to know about the victims:
Nasim Ghanadan Was Known to Have a “Tenacious Work Ethic” & “Cheerful Spirit”
Family members identified one of the victims killed as Nasim Ghanadan, who is a realtor at Pacific Union in the East Bay and was on the flight for work. They said she was 29 years old, according to ABC 7 News.
A spokesperson for the company reports that three of the passengers aboard the flight worked for Pacific Union Real Estate and were headed to a real estate event when the plane crashed.
Ghanadan’s biography on the company’s website says, “Nasim’s clients appreciate her honesty, tenacious work ethic, strong negotiation skills and cheerful spirit.”
Her Facebook was flooded with tributes to the 29-year-old, from family and friends to colleagues that worked closely with Ghanadan at Pacific Union.
“Speechless, heartbroken, shocked of this news….. Floria Nafei-Hakimi was my mentor, role model,” Niosha Nafei-Jamali wrote on Facebook. “She was amazing strong gentle wise active full of love and life …….. she will for sure be missed physically and I’m sure she will remain in everyone’s mind and hearth and she was one of a kind. Mariam Safinia joon love you. Nasim Ghanadan such a young energetic positive talented young lady OMG I’m at loss for words with heavy hearth ……. Rest In Peace”
Several other users expressed their condolences at the news of Ghanadan’s death, calling her an “angel” who was a “beautiful person inside and out.”
Her Facebook profile is filled with promotions for real estate properties, inspirational quotes, and a video of a young child learning to walk. She often promoted the homes she was selling, asking people to come visit her while she was doing open houses, as well as several pictures of a smiling Ghanadan with friends and loved ones.
Lara Shepherd Also Worked at Pacific Union & Her Husband Scott was a Real Estate Developer
Lara Shepherd was also a realtor with Pacific Union International. Lara Shepherd’s husband, Scott, was a real estate developer in the Bay Area, according to her profile on the Pacific Union website.
Shepherd’s Facebook profile states that she studied Art Market, Law and Business at Christie’s Education, NY. She also attended classes at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, as well as San Diego State University. She is from Riverwood, Illinois.
Shepherd’s favorite quotes were “ain’t no stopping us now,” and “on the road again,” according to her profile. Her profile is also filled with lovely pictures of herself and her family. On July 10, she posted a picture of her two children and the newest member of their family, Frisco, their new puppy.
Gina Nibbi, a coworker of Shepherd’s wrote on Facebook: “Very sad to wake up to news that 3 of my Pacific Union colleagues perished in a small plane crash, on their way to a real estate conference. Life sure is precious. Enjoy and be grateful for each day my friends.”
Another friend posted in the comments of a picture: “Sorrow beyond words. Lara, you will both be so missed. Rest in peace my friend.”
Shepherd posted a birthday tribute to her husband Scott back in March that said “Happy Birthday Scott! You’re my Scotty Hotty forever. I love you honey.”
The Shepherds are survived by their two children and dog Frisco, according to Lara’s profile on the real estate site.
Florida Hakimi & Her Son Navid Also Perished in the Crash; Floria Was an Active Member of the Community That Taught Children the Farsi Language
The coroner confirmed that both Floria Hakimi, and her 32-year-old son Navid were also killed in the crash. Hakimi was from Esfahan, Iran, and lived in Danville, California at the time of her death. Her Facebook profile states that she worked for Pacific Union Real Estate from 1992 to 2002, and she speaks “Farsi vs. [sic] Persian.”
A detailed description of her real estate experience can be found on her profile, stating that Hakimi helped start Empire Realty Associates and is an active member in her community.
“Floria has been selling residential and investment properties in San Francisco Bay area since 1992,” the statement reads. “Floria is the founding partner at Empire Realty Associates and it’s luxury Estates marketing team. Floria has been an active member of her commuinty and it’s non profit organizations. She is the co founder of Danville’s Farsi classes for children that has educated hundreds of local children about Farsi language and Persian culture through classes held at Athenian. She owes the success of this organization to Homa Khamsi, her dear friend and Mrs. Jorjani who is a devoted teacher & mentor for all these children.”
The description continues: “Floria has been deeply involved with the school of practical philosophy in California and has been a tutor since 2006. She likes to be called and known as simply ‘FLORIA’ w no specific last names! Her favorite charities are MAP, Operation SMILE & Families without borders where she is personally and passionately involved with.”
Tributes to Hakimi filled the comment section of her profile picture, with users remembering how beautiful of a smile she had, and how she could always light up a room when she entered.
“Your smile was always on and it’s most remembered beautiful lady,” one user wrote.
Pantéa Tádi wrote: “Rest in paradise Floria joon! Thanks for all the advice you gave me on how to be successful in life. Rest peacefully”
Navid Hakimi Was a DJ in the San Francisco Underground Music Scene & a Music Producer
Navid Hakimi, Floria’s son, was also killed in the plane crash. Navid was a popular underground DJ, vocalist and music producer. According to Mix Mag, he rose to prominence in the San Francisco rave scene and gained international success as a member of the “Crew Love” collective.
He released music with labels Wolf + Lamb, Crosstown Rebels and Psychemagik, and also sang on tracks for PillowTalk, Soul Clap and Deniz Kurtel, according to Resident Advisor.
Soul Clap member Eli Goldstein wrote a statement to Resident Advisor in response to Navid’s death.
Navid had a totally unique energy that you can feel in his music, but especially when you spent time with him. He was an old soul, with the spirit of a kid. Always beatboxing, rapping, telling stories, giving hugs, dancing. His vibe was infectious. As an original member of Crew Love, his music helped define our collective and his live performances and DJ sets always provided magical moments in our showcases and at any club or festival he touched down at. Beyond music he was a family man; he leaves behind his grandmother, brother and two year old son and countless deep friendships in the San Fransisco, LA and global dance music communities. Navid always gave so much love, and touched us all so deeply with his music and his spirit, he will truly be missed.
Fans of Navid’s music considered his music “unique, inspirational and spiritual.” Billboard writes that his music was “his style was always groovy, dark and sensual, with slight psychedelic and even eerie undertones.” According to his Facebook profile, his music was influenced by Michael Jackson, Prince and David Bowie, among many others. You can samples of his music on SoundCloud.
His death quickly spread across social media, and tributes started pouring in for the DJ.
Mix Mag wrote: “Navid, was an incredibly popular and well loved member of the global dance music community. Mixmag’s thoughts are with his close friends and family. Navid Izadi will be sorely missed. RIP.“
Little boots posted several pictures with Navid on Twitter, accompanied by an emotional tribute to the DJ: “RIP Navid, I wish I could have known you longer, you will be sorely missed on stage and off, and I will never forget your energy or your smile.”
Eyes Everywhere wrote: “RIP Navid Izadi . His set at @soulclap’s party in Detroit a few years back was mesmerizing. A set that’s burned into my (Kyle) brain forever. Prayers and love out to his family especially his young son.”
Scott Shepherd Didn’t Specify What Issues the Plane Was Having Before it Crashed
The pilot declared an emergency before the plane went down, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. However, it’s been reported that Shepherd didn’t specify what sort of trouble the plane was having before the crash.
“The pilot declared an emergency, however, he did not state the nature of his problem,” NTSB investigator Albert Nixon said.
The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will work to determine the cause of the crash.
“I don’t know anything about what this pilot did or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic,” said OCFA Capt. Tony Bommarito. “This is a Sunday afternoon and we had people shopping, so the fact that there were no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself.”
This is a developing story. Heavy will update with more information as more is known about the victims.