Seven members of country-western singer Reba McEntire's band and her road manager were among 10 people killed when a private jet crashed Saturday just north of the Mexican border.
There were no survivors, said Elly Brekke, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.McEntire, who had given a private concert Friday night in San Diego, was not on the jet, said spokeswoman Jenny Bohler.
"Needless to say Reba is very upset. They all had been with her a long time. They were like family," Bohler said.
The Hawker Siddeley twin-engine jet crashed at 1:45 a.m. in rugged canyon country about 25 miles southeast of San Diego. Darkness, wet conditions and difficult terrain prevented deputies from reaching the site until daybreak, Brekke said.
The plane, bound for Amarillo, Texas, had just taken off from Brown Field, a private airfield about four miles north of the Mexican border.
Personnel at North Island Naval Air Station, about 15 miles from where the plane crashed, reported seeing a fireball as it went down about five miles northeast of 3,556-foot Otay Mountain, Brekke said.
Bohler said the 10 people aboard included McEntire's tour manager, Jim Hammon, band leader and keyboardist Kirk Cappello, vocalist Paula Kaye Evans, guitarists Michael Thomas and Terry Jackson, keyboardist Joey Cigainero, drummer Tony Saputo, and Chris Austin, a vocalist who played fiddle and acoustic guitar.
All the band members lived in Nashville, Tenn., and were under 30 years old, Bohler said. Hammon was in his 40s.