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Deputy, Fiancé Killed

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Posted: Thursday, August 3, 2017 9:47 am

What should have been a time to celebrate turned tragic when a newly engaged couple was killed in a plane crash near Big Bear City.

Rebecca Joan Raymond, 28, and her fiancé, Brian White, were killed when the aircraft they were flying crashed July 29 after taking off from Big Bear Airport. Raymond was a deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department assigned to the Barstow station. White was a pilot in the Army.

The two had rented a plane and flew from Apple Valley July 28, according to reports. White proposed to Raymond in Big Bear. They were scheduled to return to Apple Valley July 29.

When the two didn’t return as scheduled, authorities were alerted to search for the victim’s vehicle at the Apple Valley Airport. It was located and a search between the Big Bear and Apple Valley airports began. The crash site was located in the Sawmill Canyon area south of Big Bear City on July 30 at approximately 9:30 a.m. by a sheriff’s department helicopter crew. A crew member was hoisted down and determined that the two on board were deceased.

Dustin Leno, general manager of the Big Bear Airport District, said that the plane departed Big Bear around 2:30 p.m. July 29. White had rented the single-engine Cessna 172 to take Raymond to Big Bear to celebrate their anniversary and proposed upon arrival, according to a story published in Blue Lives Matter. The story shared information from a friend of the couple stating that Raymond and White met two years ago.

There were no witnesses to the crash. Leno stated that some who saw the plane take off were concerned when they saw it flying low. Flying at altitude creates special conditions that need to be accounted for, something that Big Bear-based pilots share regularly. Tips for flying at altitude are available on the Big Bear Airport’s website and in the terminal lobby.

Once the names of the victims were released, condolences were posted by family, friends and members of law enforcement. Posts included condolences from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Raymond joined the department about a year ago.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, the FAA and NTSB.

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