Two Southern California attorneys were among three people killed in a plane crash in the Tehachapi Mountains last week, according to multiple reports.
Felipe Iniguez Plascencia, 53, had his own practice in Whittier and previously served as a Los Angeles County deputy public defender and a deputy city attorney for the City of Compton, according to his website and comments by friend and restaurateur Mario Trujillo.
Trujillo also identified victim Marina Villavicencio, 38, of Yorba Linda, as a Whittier-based attorney. She was admitted to the bar in 2013.
The attorneys' bodies, as well as the body of Ruben Piranian, 74, of Granada Hills, were recovered by Kern Search and Rescue teams on Cummings Mountain at an elevation of roughly 6,700 feet.
"Plascencia was an extremely well respected trial attorney and political activist," Trujillo wrote on Facebook. "Plascencia was nationally regarded as an expert in driving under the influence cases and he was frequently asked to lecture on the subject to both the legal community and members of law enforcement."
In 2009, Plascencia was named Attorney of the Year by the Mexican American Bar Association, and served as president of the association's political action committee.
"Plascencia was known for his charming, down-to-earth style in front of a jury and his relentless advocacy on behalf of his clients," Trujillo wrote.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Dozens of people took to Facebook to comment about the attorneys.
"Felipe and Marina - you both inspired me so much and I am so happy we met and spent some time together. RIP," wrote Jennifer B. Gardner.
"Terrible news," added Jeffrey Prang. "He was a great man who gave so much of himself to the community and others."
And Rachel Yanez wrote, "Such a tragic loss for the legal field and both families."
The wreckage of the twin-engine Beechcraft the three were traveling in was found buried under 5 feet of snow, rescuers said.
The Sheriff's Office was first called around 10:30 p.m. Thursday for a plane that had an overdue flight plan from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles. It's unclear what caused the crash or when exactly the plane went down.
Trujillo wrote Plascencia was returning from a court appearance in San Luis Obispo.