Press Club

NEW: Local Couple Killed in California Plane Crash

A plane crash in California wine country has claimed the lives of three people, including an Arlington couple.

Shauna and James Waite, who lived near Yorktown High School, were killed when their small plane crashed in a vineyard in Napa County on Friday morning.

According to a post on the website of running group D.C. Road Runners, of which the couple were active members, Shauna’s father Robert was also killed. The couple’s one-year-old son was with Shauna’s mother and was not on the plane, the group said.

The crash scattered wreckage and sparked a fire in the Abreu Vineyard, just south of the Angwin airfield, according to local news reports. Witnesses reported hearing a loud bang and seeing a plume of black smoke.

The plane was a Beechcraft 35 Bonanza — a single-engine, six-seat prop plane — according to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.

“There are no words that can describe the loss of these wonderful people,” said the D.C. Road Runners post. “They loved life and lived every moment to the fullest. Their excitement for life was infectious.”

The Waites were avid travelers and amateur athletes who competed in races and frequented wineries, photos on social media show. They both posted often about their son, whose first birthday party was held last weekend. In 2019, Shauna posted about obtaining her pilot’s license and surprising her dad, who was also a pilot.

Dr. Shauna Waite was a veterinarian with Columbia Pike Animal Hospital in Annandale. James was a marketing manager with the California-based fintech company Hearth, according to his LinkedIn profile. In addition to their other activities, the family rescued a number of pets, including two dogs, two cats and a gecko, according to Shauna’s biography on the animal hospital website.

Several dozen friends held an informal remembrance for the couple outside their Arlington home last night.

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