Authorities have recovered the bodies of two people who were killed when their plane bound for San Carlos crashed in bad weather Sunday in a rural area near Livermore.
"It is a very, very sad thing on Mother's Day," sheriff's Lt. Eric Navarro said.
The Piper Cherokee, tail No. N56626, crashed in rough terrain at about 10:50 a.m. five to six miles northeast of the Livermore Municipal Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The two people onboard were headed to the San Carlos Airport, according to Gregor.
The first emergency crews to arrive at the crash site found the bodies of a man and woman, both believed to be in their 50s, strapped into the seats of what remained of the wrecked plane, said Contra Costa County sheriff's Lt. Eric Navarro.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, but Navarro said the plane appeared to have hit a tree, then plunged into the crest of a hill.
After impact, the plane left a debris field that stretched about a quarter-mile to a half-mile long, he said.
It was raining and hailing at the time of the crash, with a low cloud ceiling, Navarro said.
An unused diaper found near the wreckage had caused concerns that an infant was among the victims. But after a search of the area using trained dogs, Navarro said he was "very confident" only two adults were in the plane.
The victims' names were withheld pending notification of family.