1965 Folsom Lake Plane Crash
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office was recently contacted by members of the public regarding a plane crash which occurred over Folsom Lake on January 1st, 1965. Four fatalities occurred during this tragic accident and only one victim was able to be recovered at the time.
Local media reports subsequently identified a Shingle Springs resident who had spent the majority of his adult life searching for answers about the wreckage and the unrecovered victims, one of them being his brother. The Coroner’s office contacted this surviving family member who provided even more historical information about the crash and a possible location for the wreckage. The information provided to us indicated that there was a possibility that the wreckage could be located within the county of El Dorado’s jurisdiction on Folsom Lake.
Upon learning this, Sheriff John D’Agostini pledged the support of his office to aid in our local resident’s search for answers about the crash and the unrecovered victims. Nationally renowned underwater side scan sonar operator Gene Ralston was contacted by the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services and briefed on the crash and the history surrounding it. Gene and his wife Sandy graciously agreed to assist us in our search for answers on behalf of our local resident.
An operation was launched on January 16th, 2014 and Gene and Sandy are on the water as conditions allow. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Placer County Sheriff’s Office are providing logistical support as well as scene security on the water due to shared jurisdictional boundaries.
We respectfully ask that persons not involved in our search effort remain clear of our boats. We are also unable to accommodate any requests from the media that involve riding on any of the boats involved in the search effort.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office is grateful for the outpouring of support from the media, the public and other governmental agencies including the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, California State Parks, California State OES, the FAA and the NTSB. We are hopeful that the victims of the plane crash can be located and recovered so that they may be laid to rest in a dignified manner.
The spokesperson said deputies have wrapped up initial efforts. The sheriff's department said they were able to gather a lot of information from the sonar, but more work is needed before they feel safe putting divers in the areas they've searched.