California mom of two, pilot ‘friend’ killed in San Francisco-Bay Area plane crash

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A California mother of two high schoolers and her pilot friend died Friday in a plane crash near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. 

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday two of the people aboard the aircraft had been positively identified, but their names would not be released until Monday morning pending next of kin notification. Jesuit High School of Sacramento, a private Catholic high school, however, already released a statement on its website identifying the mother of one of its students as having died in the crash. 

Jennifer “JJ” Fox, whose son is a sophomore at the school, and “her friend died in a plane crash on Friday afternoon,” according to a joint statement from President Rev. John P. McGarry and Principal Michael Wood. 


Fox also was the aunt to five other students at the same school. Her daughter is a senior at the nearby St. Francis High School.

“With hearts still heavy from the tragic loss of our student earlier this week, we are aware that many in our community, especially the sophomore class at Jesuit and the senior class at St. Francis, will be particularly impacted by this additional loss and in need of loving support,” the statement said. “Please keep the Fox, Diepenbrock, and Vernekoff families in your prayers, and may they find comfort and solace in the Lord.”

An emergency beacon for a small aircraft was activated around 2:15 p.m. Friday in the Marin Headlands, according to the Golden Gate National Park Service. The crash site was found on a backcountry ridge north of Conzelman Road, away from roads and trails. The two individuals involved in the crash were found deceased. The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane went down around 2:40 p.m. 

The aircraft has since been identified as a 2017 Vans Aircraft RV10. 

Photos of plane that crashed above Conzelman Road on Friday (5/6).
(Golden Gate NPS – Alerts)

KNTV reported that the four-seat low wing all metal airplane had taken off from Sacramento’s Executive Airport and proceeded down through the Delta above Skaggs Island. Flight path data shows the aircraft then began to descend rapidly doing circles over the bay. Conditions were foggy with low visibility. 

The plane is sold as a kit that can be built at home.


KOVR reported that Fox was the founder of the I AM Empowerment Network, JJ Fox Productions and the I AM Studio. Her website says she works in skincare, personal development and the mind, body and spirit lifestyle helping clients to “maximize your inner and outer beauty.” 

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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