By Marlee Ginter


AUBURN (CBS13) — A father and son were killed in a plane crash that left another person badly hurt just north of the Auburn Airport on Friday.

Investigators arrived at what they described as a “mangled” plane that had gone down in someone’s yard off Dry Creek Road. The victims’ family wants their loved ones to be remembered for their incredible friendship, not this tragedy.

Mena Hoopes wore a sad smile but held a strong voice as she talked about her dad and brother on Friday. In just one day, she lost a large part of her family.

“They died doing what they loved and they died together, so we use that as solace,” Hoopes said.

Anthony Wright Sr., 80, spent more than a decade rebuilding the historic plane that crashed Friday afternoon, the single-engine Stinson V-77 is a World War II-era plane.

Photo of RCPD Records Officer and Reserve Deputy Sheriff Tony Wright. (Credit: Rancho Cordova Police Department)

His son, 55-year-old Anthony Wright Jr., was a 23-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department who had been serving with the Rancho Cordova Police Department as a Reserve Deputy and Records Officer.

READ: Rancho Cordova Officer Gave Out 15 Speeding Tickets In A Day Along One Corridor

The two were better known as “the Tony’s.”

“They had an incredible friendship. In fact, Tony’s wife, my sister-in-law, this afternoon said they were best friends in life so it was only fitting they got to be together in death,” said Mena.

Her husband Richard envied their father-son relationship.

“They built a lot of things together and had a lot of good times like that,” he recalled.

The loss hits the aviation and law enforcement community hard as a family now has to say goodbye to two loved ones.

“We’re calm. We’re sad, but we know that they’re in a good place. They’re up in Heaven. They’re together and that’s bringing us tremendous consolation at this time,” said Mena.

Officials have not yet released the third person’s identity. They were taken to an area hospital for treatment of major injuries.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash.

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