Twenty-six years have passed since a Piper Cherokee Archer II and Aeromexico Flight 498 collided in the skies above Cerritos, and claimed the lives of 82 people, destroyed 11 homes and severely damaged seven other residences.
Considered the darkest day in city's history, the Aug. 31, 1986 tragedy shocked everyone in the town we all call home as well as those spanning communities and nations throughout the world.
But even in the bleakest moments of this catastrophe, the people of Cerritos, its leaders and neighbors stood together, hand in hand, to help bring the community back on its feet from a tragedy that affected the lives of so many.
On the 25th anniversary of the Cerritos Air Disaster last year, the city of Cerritos held a special ceremony honoring the lives of those who perished as a result of the plane crash, drawing hundreds of community members from the Southland as well families and friends of the deceased victims.
"I thank the Lord that there's people that still remember them, this is going to be forever ... this is in our hearts even though life has to move on," said Mary Guzman whose husband and son were aboard the Aermexico jetliner along with five others in her close-knit circle of family and friends.
Today we remember the survivors, the heroes and those who lost their lives on that fateful day. We shall never forget ...
In Memory of Our Cerritos Families and Friends Who Perished in the Cerritos Air Disaster of Aug. 31, 1986:
In Memory of Those Who Perished in the DC-9 AeroMexico Flight 498 and the Piper Cherokee Archer II Cerritos Air Disaster of Aug. 31, 1986:
Rosa Ojeda de Avila
Carlos Lopez, Jr.
To read more about the Cerritos Air Disaster, click on the links below featuring articles that were part of the , which takes a historical look back that tragic day, recollections from those who responded to the site of the catastrophe within moments of the accident, as well as reflections from those who helped bring the community back on its feet in the days, months and years that followed.