Ex-Santa Monica Mayor Rex Minter dies in plane crash on beach

Former Santa Monica Mayor Rex Minter died after a small plane in which he was a passenger crash-landed on the beach in Santa Monica on Thursday afternoon, city officials confirmed.

Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis confirmed in a tweet Thursday night that Minter was a passenger in the single-engine Cessna airplane that flipped over after the pilot landed on the shoreline.

No one on the beach was injured.

“Sadly, former SM mayor and judge Rex Minter was the passenger in the plane,” Davis said in a comment on a video of the incident posted to Twitter. “He has passed away. I have spoken with his family and relayed the City’s condolences to them.”

Minter was elected to the Santa Monica City Council in 1955 and served as mayor from 1963-67. He later served as city attorney for Arcadia, and as a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He also served in the Marines.

The city of Santa Monica said that flags in front of City Hall will be lowered to half-staff, and a city council meeting in the new year will be adjourned in honor of Minter’s service.

Firefighters were called at 3:17 p.m. to the 1800 block of Santa Monica Beach, said Capt. Patrick Nulty, a spokesperson for the city’s fire department.

The airplane landed on the beach and flipped over into the surf, Nulty said. Two people, including Minter, were on board.

Both occupants were transported to a hospital, the captain said.

The pilot had reported engine issues after taking off from Santa Monica Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash. Further information was not available from federal authorities Thursday.

Times staff writer Gregory Yee contributed to this story.




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