HS student's car becomes memorial after plane crash kills family

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- A Thousand Oaks, Calif., high school student's car has become an impromptu memorial after he and his parents were killed in a plane crash.

Seventeen-year-old John Brendan Zitting's white Volkswagon is still sitting in the parking space at Westlake High School where he left it before his death. Fellow students have left brightly colored messages for Zitting all over the car's exterior.

Zitting and his parents, John and Karen, were killed Friday after the single-engine plane they were in crashed in Oregon.

The Zittings had rented the aircraft, piloted by an Acton man, to fly the family to Eugene. The plane was approaching the airport when it suddenly crashed in a field. The pilot was also killed in the crash.

A Thousand Oaks teenager and his family died after a single-engine plane they were on crashed in a grass field on its way to Eugene, Oregon.

The crash happened shortly before 11 a.m. Friday, according to Linn County sheriff's officials. The 1984 Piper PA-46-310P aircraft had left Van Nuys around 7:22 a.m.

The plane was approaching the Eugene Airport when witnesses in Harrisburg said they saw the aircraft flying at a low altitude. It suddenly turned and crashed into the grass field, about two miles north of Harrisburg, sheriff's officials said.

Authorities said the passengers in the plane were identified as John A. Zitting, 42, his wife Karen Blackmore Zitting, 37, and their son John Brendan Zitting, 17, all from Thousand Oaks. The pilot, Mark Gregory Aletky, 67, was from Acton.

The investigation into the crash was ongoing. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Association were helping in the investigation. null
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