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Ventura County

Virtual memorial, cleanup day held for 21st anniversary of Alaska Airlines Flt. 261 crash near Ventura County

annual alaska airlines crash 261 cleanup port hueneme pier 2
City of Port Hueneme
annual alaska airlines crash 261 cleanup port hueneme pier 1
City of Port Hueneme

PORT HUENEME, Calif. - Sunday marked the 21st anniversary of the Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crash that happened about eight miles off the coast of Port Hueneme.

The plane was reportedly on its way from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to Seattle, Wash., when a faulty jackscrew caused it to lose pitch control and fall out of the sky just a couple of miles off of Anacapa Island.

A total of 88 people died during the crash, including five crew members.

Due to COVID-19, this year's anniversary service did not take place at the memorial sundial next to the Port Hueneme pier like normal.

Instead, a virtual ceremony was held through a private link for only the relatives of victims.

"Each year, the families of the victims from flight 261 gather here in Port Hueneme to honor those lives that were lost," said Scott Matalon, Public Information Officer for the City of Port Hueneme. "This year, the families were unable to come here in person, but the city wanted to do something for them to continue that tradition."

In an effort to carry on the yearly tradition, however, Port Hueneme City Staff, City Council Members and several community volunteers went to the memorial sundial to participate in its annual cleaning.

This crash has led to the implementation of new safety measures that have prevented similar accidents.

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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