By Cory Bilicko
Mike Jensen, the lone survivor among five men on a turbo-prop plane that crashed last week at the Long Beach Airport, is making a gradual but optimistic recovery. According to a CaringBridge.org webpage created to post updates on Jensen’s recovery, he is “resting comfortably” and his doctor has downgraded his condition to “serious but stable.” At 12:15pm on Wednesday, a message was posted that reads: “Mike remains very stable, had a good night and continues the road to recovery. He’s looking better every day.”
Jensen is a Naples resident and president of the real-estate company Pacific Retail Partners.
The private twin-engine Beech Craft King Air Turbo-Prop plane crashed on the runway during takeoff around 10:30am on Wednesday, March 16. Aboard the plane were: Mark Bixby, a member of one of Long Beach’s founding families and a leading bicycling enthusiast; Tom Dean, a developer who lived in Naples who owned the aircraft; Jeff Berger, a Manhattan Beach resident who was also a developer; Bruce Krall, a banker and Orange County resident; and Kenneth Cruz, the plane’s pilot.
“It has been a tough week for our city as we mourn the loss of our friends Mark Bixby, Tom Dean, Jeff Berger, Bruce Krall, and Kenneth Cruz,” said First District Councilmember Robert Garcia. “Yet, as we come together to pray and support the families of those affected, we have seen an incredible celebration of their lives and their contributions to Long Beach.”
Garcia said that Bixby’s wife, Theresa, wanted him to share with the public a message that included the following:
The outpouring of love and support for Mark from so many people has been amazing. We are all so heartbroken, and people are showing their love with food and flowers. I was hoping that you might be able to help me communicate to people asking people to give to others in need in lieu of more food and flowers. Mark would want people to give to a charity of their choice or one of three charities in his honor: YMCA of Greater Long Beach Camping Services Endowment; Rotary Club of Long Beach Scholarship Foundation; or Children Today. He was on the board of YMCA Camping Services, was President of Rotary Club, and sat on the scholarship committee and was very supportive of the non-profit, Children Today that I co-founded with Jennifer Fitzgerald.
A public “Mark Bixby Celebration of Life” is planned for Friday, March 25, at 10am at the base of the peninsula on the bay beach, between Gondola Getaway and the US Sailing Center.
By Cory Bilicko