Sugar Land resident among 3 people killed in San Antonio plane crash, family says

Plane left Sugar Land bound for Boerne

SAN ANTONIO – Two of the three people killed in a small airplane crash in San Antonio on Sunday night have been identified.

The victims

Family members confirmed Monday that 22-year-old Eric Naranjo, of Sugar Land, was one of the three people killed in the crash. They said Naranjo was a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio and graduated from Dulles High School in 2015.

According to social media posts, Naranjo was an avid indoor and outdoor climber and was also active on the UTSA table tennis club.

His Linked In page shows he was a financial intern with an Austin company, Aktivum.

The second victim was identified as 38-year-old Robert Tyson Womble, according to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s office.

The third victim’s name has not been released but it was confirmed she was a 71-year-old woman.

What happened?

At least 26 fire units were dispatched to the 600 block of West Rhapsody Drive, near the San Antonio International Airport, around 6:26 p.m., according to the San Antonio Fire Department’s active call list online.

The plane originated from Hooks Memorial Airport, then briefly stopped at Sugar Land Regional Airport before heading to San Antonio, according to Fire Chief Charles Hood.

The pilot was headed to Boerne, but activated an alert that indicated he would be attempting an emergency landing at the San Antonio International Airport, Hood said.

What went wrong?

While it’s unclear exactly what caused the crash, dispatch audio from Sunday evening shed more light on the moments leading up to the incident.

“I’ve got traffic just north of the field that just declared engine failure, coming into land," the dispatcher said, according to audio obtained by KSAT.

According to air traffic control radio, a man who appeared to be the pilot reported the emergency.

“Engine failure, I need to land at international (airport),” the man said.

The air traffic controller asked him which runway he can land at, and the man said, “we can circle around for runway 4.” That runway is on the southwest corner of the airport.

Shortly after that, the air traffic controller lost contact with the pilot.

According to the flight path provided by FlightAware, the plane reached the airport but looped around before landing. It would fall short of the runway, crashing into a street. The flight log shows the plane nose-diving at more than 1,800 feet per minute.

No other injuries were reported, which would not have been the case had the plane crashed onto the highway or an apartment complex, Hood said.

“As tragic as it is, it could have been much worse,” he said.

The plane

The aircraft is a Piper PA-24 Comanche, according to FlightAware. It is a single-engine aircraft that seats four people. The plane appears to have been registered in 2018 to RTW Capital LLC, a company in Austin.

KPRC 2 reporter Syan Rhodes and KSAT contributed to this article.

About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.