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Jewish Journal

Morley Construction CEO and son likely victims in Santa Monica plane crash

by Ryan Torok

September 30, 2013 | 4:51 pm

Investigators and firefighters look at the ruins of a hangar, the site of a crash-landing by a small jet, at Santa Monica Airport in Santa Monica on Sept. 30 (Reuters). Inset: Mark Benjamin

Investigators and firefighters look at the ruins of a hangar, the site of a crash-landing by a small jet, at Santa Monica Airport in Santa Monica on Sept. 30 (Reuters). Inset: Mark Benjamin

Mark Benjamin, 63, chief executive at Morley Construction, and his son, Luke, 28, an engineer for the company, are believed to have been on the twin engine Cessna Citation that crashed into Santa Monica Airport at 6:20 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. Authorities as of Monday afternoon had not released an official list of the victims of the fiery collision, which they say was not survivable.

Morley Construction, however, released a statement on its Web site on Monday stating that Mark and Luke Benjamin were believed to have been onboard the plane.

"We are aware of a plane crash at Santa Monica Airport last night. While we do not have specific facts, we believe that our President and CEO, Mark Benjamin, and his son, Luke Benjamin, a Senior Project Engineer with us, were on board,” the statement by the Santa Monica-based company says.

Mark Benjamin took over Morley Construction—one of the largest construction companies in Southern California—in the 1980s, replacing his father, Morley Benjamin, who founded the company in 1947, according to the Santa Monica Mirror. Morley Benjamin died in 2000 at 83.

The company blossomed under Mark Benjamin’s leadership. Morley Construction has contributed to several high-profile jobs, including the renovation and expansion of the Getty Villa in Malibu, the upgrade of the Hollywood Bowl facilities, and projects on the UCLA and USC campuses.

As of press time, the Journal was trying to learn who else was on board the plane, which can hold up to eight people and was en route from Hailey, Idaho, when it slammed into a storage hangar at Santa Monica Airport, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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