The 80's TV game show host of "Press Your Luck" and his wife were killed yesterday when their small plane crashed into Santa Monica Bay shortly after takeoff on a volunteer flight for a medical charity.
Peter Tomarken, 63, and his wife, Kathleen Abigail Tomarken, 41, were identified by the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
The plane was on its way to San Diego to ferry a medical patient to the UCLA Medical Center, said a spokesman for Angel Flight West- a nonprofit which provides free air transportation for needy patients.
The third person authorities initially believed was on board may have been the patient, said Coast Guard spokesman Tony Migliorini.
"We believe the third person was the person they were going to pick up," he said. "When they filed the flight plan, they said three persons were to be on board. That's why we had to presume they had three and did the search."
The plane apparently had engine trouble and was headed back to Santa Monica Airport, located about two miles inland, but went down in about 19 feet of water about a half-mile southwest of the Santa Monica pier, authorities said.
Luis Garr said he didn't hear the engine but heard the splash as the plane "kind of landed into the water."