Coroner IDs Tri-Valley residents killed in SoCal plane crash

Cause of emergency that precipitated fatal crash remains under investigation

The five people who died in a plane crash in Southern California on Sunday afternoon after taking off from an airport in Concord have been identified as four San Ramon Valley residents and a man from Los Angeles.

The three women killed in the crash -- Nasim Ghanadan, 29, of Alamo, Floria Hakimi, 62, of Danville, and Lara Shepherd 42, of Diablo -- were all employed at Pacific Union International’s real estate office in Danville.

The two others who died in the crash were Lara Shepherd’s husband, 53-year-old Scott Shepherd who was the pilot of the plane, and Floria’s son Navid Hakimi, a 32-year-old DJ from Los Angeles who performed under the stage name Navid Izadi.

“Pacific Union International lost five of our extended family yesterday afternoon,” Mark A. McLaughlin, CEO of Pacific Union International said in a statement. “Our entire Pacific Union family is mourning the loss of our colleagues, family and friends. We ask everyone to join us in respecting the privacy of all immediate family members during this time. Life is precious and we are focused on comforting the loved ones affected by this devastating event.”

The Cessna 414 aircraft took off earlier Sunday from Concord's Buchanan Field Airport and was registered to San Francisco-based Category III Aviation Corp., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The passengers were on their way to a real estate industry conference called the Tom Ferry Success Summit in Anaheim.

According to the Orange County coroner, the plane crashed around 12:30 p.m., and everyone on board was killed when their plane crashed in the parking lot of a Staples store in Santa Ana. It did not injure anyone on the ground.

FAA officials said someone on the plane declared an undisclosed emergency before crashing.

"At our meeting today there were tears and sorrow, joy, disbelief and feelings of loss. Stories were told about our teammates that inspired amazing laughter, a sense of pride, and lots of tears," McLaughlin said Monday. "We’re left with memories of our shared work and lives together that we will hold forever."

A realtor for Pacific Union, Lara Shepherd’s employee profile described her as “trustworthy and responsive.” Her family has a long history of working in real estate; she was the third generation to become a realtor. She was also actively involved in community fundraising and volunteer youth programs in Contra Costa County.

Her husband, Scott Shepherd was president and CEO of the company that owned the plane, Category III Development. The couple have left behind two young children, 5 and 7 years old, respectively.

Also a realtor, Floria Hakimi was born in Iran and had been a resident of the Diablo Valley since 1989. Active in the community, when she wasn’t working she was involved in various local organizations such as Mothers Against Poverty, Operation Smile, Families Without Borders and the School of Practical Philosophy in Pleasanton.

Navid Hakimi leaves behind his 2-year-old son and his 36-year-old brother, Aden.

A real estate consultant, Ghanadan’s employee profile said “her business philosophy is to treat her clients like family.” Her LinkedIn profile said she graduated from San Francisco State University in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in economics, but had been working in real estate in various capacities since 2011. She leaves her mother, father, two sisters and a brother.

The crash remains under investigation by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Editor's note: Information from the Bay City News Service was used in this report.


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