BUENA PARK — Clint Ochodnicky said he "saved our lives."
George Crowe said, "If he'd been in the military, he'd have received a medal for what he did."
Last week, the Orange County Register published two stories about a Jan. 5 plane crash that killed Donald Dirian, a 69-year-old Federal Aviation Administration consultant piloting the plane.
Dirian was a former engineer at Naval Air Facility El Centro.
Crash observers called Dirian a hero because he guided his aircraft to the only area where he could avoid hitting people or densely packed buildings, according to the Register.
The Imperial Valley Press published an Associated Press wire story on the crash.
Ochodnicky was quoted by the Register as saying that Dirian spared his life and the life of his 10-month-old son after the nearly 70-year-old pilot banked his Cessna hard at the last second, plunging nose-first into the small empty lot and avoiding crashing into Ochodnicky's hotel room.