A 38-year-old man killed in a plane crash Thursday near the Sonoma Skyport Airport has been identified as William Sachs Goldman of San Francisco, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.
Goldman was an assistant professor of international studies at the University of San Francisco.
The crash occurred around 12:45 p.m. in Schell Vista in the area of San Luis Road and Broadway south of Sonoma, according to Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services.
Three others were injured in the crash. The wreckage could be seen in a field about 1,000 feet west of Sonoma Skypark.
The Sonoma County Fire Department said two children under 16 were airlifted to Children's Hospital in Oakland. The injured children were Goldman's son and daughter. The extent of their injuries were unknown.
A woman passenger also was injured in the crash and transported to a hospital. Her relationship to the family was not clear.
Goldman was being remembered by the campus community as a scholar, generous teacher and valued member of the university.
"The University of San Francisco community is devastated to learn of the death of faculty member Bill Goldman in a Sonoma County plane crash," USF President Paul Fitzgerald said in a statement. "Bill, an assistant professor in international studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, was an accomplished scholar, a beloved and generous teacher, and a valued member of our community.
He will be greatly missed by his colleagues, students and the countless alumni who were inspired by him in and out of the classroom.
Bill's wife Serra is an alumna of the USF School of Law and a member of the university's Board of Trustees. We are standing in prayerful solidarity with her and with Bill and Serra's young children, George and Marie, now and in the days ahead."
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane was a single-engine Cirrus SR-22, a plane equipped with a parachute system that can deploy in case of emergencies.
Robert Castillo was one of several people who ran straight for the crash site when they heard a plane in distress. He helped pry the children out of the plane.
"Maybe it was about 75 feet in the air and descending, and that’s when I heard a bang and saw the parachute come out of the back of the air plane," Castillo said. "It sputtered louder, cut out, started sputtering, cut out and was off.
"When I got there, there was a little hand in the back window," Castillo continued. "I said, 'Oh my gosh, someone’s alive, let’s see what we can do.'"
Preliminary information shows the plane crashed under unknown circumstances, Gregor said.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, Gregor said.