(CBS SF) — A marine with Bay Area ties died Wednesday morning in England, when the fighter jet he was piloting crashed into a field just before taking off.
Around 5:30 a.m. U.K. time, a Third Marine Aircraft Wing F/A-18C Hornet crashed about six miles northwest of the air station Royal Air Force Lakenheath, near the town of Lakenheath in England, according to the Marine Corps.
Sometime before the crash, the aircraft had arrived in England from Bahrain. The aircraft was on its way back to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California, along with five other aircrafts, following a six-month deployment, according to Marine Corps officials.
Although Marine Corps officials have not identified the pilot, an Instagram profile with the name Taj Sareen has received over 200 comments since Wednesday, with almost all of the comments sending condolences.
According to Sareen’s LinkedIn profile, he attended the University of San Francisco from 1999 to 2004, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics.
The last post on Sareen’s Instagram account features a military plane on a tarmac, reading “Our UK arrival. That much closer to .home.”
While Marine Corps officials confirmed the pilot’s death in a statement, officials said they did not know if the pilot ejected from the single-seat aircraft.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the pilot. The cause of the crash is still unknown,” Marine Corps officials said in a statement.
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