DeCastro, family perish in plane crash

SPEED Touring Car Driver DeCastro, Family Perish In Plane Crash MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. (Oct. 27, 2006) -- SCCA Pro Racing SPEED Touring Car driver Lucho DeCastro (44), his wife and two children were killed in a private plane crash Wednesday in ...

DeCastro, family perish in plane crash

SPEED Touring Car Driver DeCastro, Family Perish In Plane Crash

MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. (Oct. 27, 2006) -- SCCA Pro Racing SPEED Touring Car driver Lucho DeCastro (44), his wife and two children were killed in a private plane crash Wednesday in northwestern Arizona, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

According to the AP report, Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the single-engine plane crashed about noon Wednesday about 60 miles east of Las Vegas after its pilot reported icing on the plane's wings.

Search crews from the Mohave County, Ariz., Sheriff's Office spotted the wreckage from a helicopter about 15 miles northeast of Pierce Ferry Airport Wednesday afternoon and saw three bodies.

Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan said search and rescue personnel crossing rugged terrain got close to the site late Wednesday but camped out overnight before continuing on after daybreak. The fourth body was found on Thursday.

Gregor said the plane, a Cirrus SR-22, was on its way to Phoenix from the San Francisco Bay Area.

The DeCastro family--Lucho, Laura (41), Nadia (7) and Trevor (4), were reported as the only passengers.

The plane is designed to deploy a parachute in an emergency, but it was unclear whether it deployed.

DeCastro had just completed the season finale of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED Touring Car Championship. The race was the third of 2006 for the rookie driver. He finished 17th in the race.

DeCastro, who resided in Stone Mountain, Ga., also competed in SCCA Club Racing events in 2006. He acquired a BMW 325i from Turner Motorsport earlier in the season and made his series debut at Mid-Ohio in May, where he recorded what would be his best-ever finish (14th) in his first start. DeCastro also raced at Road Atlanta in September in addition to the October 22 season-finale in Monterey, Calif.

"Coupled with the passing of young Hatch Osborn last week, it has been a difficult time for the World Challenge family away from the race track," SCCA President and CEO Jim Julow said. "Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the friends and relatives of the DeCastro family."

This is the second time in three years that an SCCA World Challenge series driver perished in a private plane crash. On October 1, 2003, Paul Mumford was killed in a private plane crash in California, less than a month after Mumford scored his first-ever series win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

-credit: scca pro racing

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