Couple killed in southern Arizona plane crash identified

Two people who died in a plane crash in southern Arizona were a married couple from Mexico.
Two people who died in a plane crash in southern Arizona were a married couple from Mexico.(File image courtesy: Yuma County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 1:49 PM MST
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DATELAND, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Investigators have identified the two people who died in a plane crash in southern Arizona last week as a married couple from Mexico.

Just before 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, a DPS trooper on patrol spotted a large plume of smoke near Interstate 8 and Spot Road east of the town of Dateland. In a nearby desert area, the trooper found a small plane on fire.

Yuma County sheriff’s deputies and other emergency crews responded and inside the plane, they found two people dead. They’ve since been identified as Ronald Barba, 61, and Marcela Barba, 47, both from Tijuana, Mexico.

Investigators say the crash happened as the couple was flying from San Diego to Nogales in a Van’s Aircraft RV-6. It’s a two-seat homebuilt plane that’s sold as a kit. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

Earlier in the week on Sept. 13, another married couple was killed in a small plane crash near the northern Arizona town of Seligman. They were on their way to Las Vegas from Wichita Falls, Tex.