California couple salvages wedding ring from house destroyed by plane crash

Cody and Courtney Campbell salvaged a wedding ring from their home in Santee, California after it was destroyed by a plane crash.

Cody and Courtney Campbell salvaged a wedding ring from their home in Santee, California after it was destroyed by a plane crash.

Screenshot from Courtney Campbell’s Instagram account

Courtney and Cody Campbell lost nearly everything when a plane crash in Santee, California practically demolished their home earlier this week.

But the couple was able to salvage one small treasure from the wreckage: Cody’s wedding ring.

Because he works with food, Cody usually wore a silicone ring to work and kept the real ring at home, NBC San Diego reported.

He and his wife weren’t sure if they would be able to salvage much from their home, but were thankful to be alive. They had been at work when the plane hit their house.

“I think we tried to prepare ourselves going in: If we find something, that’s the best-case scenario, and if not, again, we’re still standing here, so that is the biggest takeaway,” Courtney told NBC San Diego.

Luckily, when the couple explored their home for the first time after the crash, they found Cody’s wedding ring exactly where they expected to.

“We knew where it would have been, so the first thing that we did when we got into the house was kind of go straight into that area, and, with the help of our friends and our family, we were able to spot it, still completely intact, just with a couple bumps and bruises — couple different colors now but still fits,” Cody told NBC San Diego.

The couple also found some other treasured mementos, including a letter Cody wrote to his wife on their wedding day and a photo of themselves with the words of the letter bleeding onto it, which the couple plans to have framed, Courtney said in an Instagram post.

Some wedding gifts surfaced and a bronze placard with their original wedding date on it — Dec. 6, 2020. The couple later moved their wedding to May 2, 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS8 reported.

Their remaining belongings felt like “glimmers of hope,” Courtney said in the Instagram post.

“Nothing either one of us have ever gone through could have prepared us for this,” Courtney wrote in the Instagram post. “We are grateful to be alive but are heartbroken and overwhelmed by the days, weeks and months that lie ahead.”

The couple said even though some parts of the home were untouched by the fire — including groceries inside the fridge or cleaning products under the kitchen sink — it’s not likely that anything else can be salvaged from the home.

The crash occurred around noon on Oct. 11,. Dr. Sugata Das, an Arizona cardiologist, was flying the plane, likely from Yuma, Arizona to Montgomery Gibbs Executive Airport in Kearny Mesa, FOX 5 reported.

A UPS delivery driver was also killed in the crash, and a UPS truck was destroyed, USA Today reported. Two other people were hospitalized with burn injuries, and three homes in the neighborhood, including the Campbells’, had “major damage,” Fire Chief John Garlow told USA Today.

Authorities are still not sure what caused the crash, though audio of dialogue between Das and the air traffic controller “reveals moments of intense alarm – and possible confusion” on Das’ part, CBS 8 reported.

The couple plans on rebuilding their home in Santee, which is about 20 miles northeast of San Diego.

Vandana Ravikumar is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter. She grew up in northern Nevada and studied journalism and political science at Arizona State University. Previously, she reported for USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, and Arizona PBS.