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Photo courtesy of Marty Ennis: Am anniversary commemoration of the PSA crash two years ago drew hundreds to Grossmont College to hear witnesses, first-responders and family members of those who perished share their memories of the tragedy. This year marks the 40th anniversary and a film screening and discussion on Sept. 25will be open to the public. 

East County News Service

September 13, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The 40th anniversary of the PSA Flight 182 crash in San Diego that killed 144 people and scattered wreckage and carnage across North Park will be remembered at an event Sept. 25 at Grossmont College.  Family members of those who perished, as well as first responders and PSA workers, will share their memories following a free, public screening of the documentary film, “Return to Dwight and Nile,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at Grossmont College’s Griffin Gate, Building 60. 

The event is being organized by Grossmont College History Professor Marty Ennis, who noted that what was at the time the deadliest air crash in the country was a uniquely San Diego story. The airline, Pacific Southwest Airlines, was based in San Diego and many aboard the doomed flight were PSA employees. 

When Ennis organized a similar anniversary event two years ago at Grossmont College, it drew an overflow crowd and the emotions of the speakers and the audience were deep and still close to the surface. 

“All these years later, people in San Diego vividly remember this event and many still suffer the loss of family and friends,” Ennis said. “Members of the San Diego police and fire departments who were first responders experienced the most difficult moment of their career on that day. Many people in San Diego had friends and relatives who worked for the airline. There is a group dedicated to the creation of a memorial to the victims of this crash and feel very strongly that the event must be remembered.”

A question-and-answer period will follow the documentary’s screening and family members and others personally affected by what remains California’s worst airline disaster will be invited to share their stories. 

The title of the documentary by amateur filmmaker Dave Fresina refers to the North Park intersection where the Boeing 727 crash landed after a mid-air collision with a Cessna that killed all 135 people aboard the commercial jetliner, along with two in the private plane and seven people in houses. Nearly two dozen homes were damaged or destroyed and nine other victims on the ground were injured.

Grossmont College is at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon.

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