05/14/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

Palm Springs, CA—The memorial service for a Thermal-based California Highway Patrol pilot who was killed in a plane crash on May 7 in the mountains of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, will be held today in Oceanside. The 13-year CHP veteran was found dead last Friday around 4:00 p.m., in the wreckage of his plane just two miles north of Split Mountain, as reported by KPSP Local 2.

CHP officer Danny Benavides reportedly took off in a Cessna 206 patrol aircraft around 7:15 a.m. from Thermal. While in the air, Benavides, tracked vehicles for CHP officers on the ground between 8:30 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. near Highway 86 and Hoskins Street, when around 9:30 a.m., the CHP troopers relocated to Interstate 8 and Dunway Road. The El Centro Communications Center reported at 10 a.m., that they had lost radio contact with the pilot.

Smoke was spotted emitting near Split Mountain around 10:06 a.m., and reported it to the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Hours later, at 4 p.m., search-and-rescue teams found the wreckage and the deceased pilot.

It is unknown what caused the plane to crash. Authorities are investigating the fatal plane crash.

Benavides’ memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m., at the New Venture Christian Fellowship, 4000 Mystra Way in Oceanside.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California aviation accident lawyers.

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