George Chandler dies in crash

Services will be held Tuesday for George Chandler, who was killed March 6 when a woman suspected of running a red light caused a crash near Balboa Park.

A memorial is planned at 10 a.m. at El Camino Memorial Park Cemeteryr, followed by a celebration of his life at 12:30 at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

Chandler, 73, was married to Irene Chandler of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate. He had headed the U.S. Small Business Administration’s San Diego district office for 25 years. He retired in September 2005.

Before Chandler took over the local SBA office, his resume included some time as an Army lieutenant working on ballistic missiles - including the Ajax and Zeus - and as a mission engineer with NASA during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, according to a profile by the San Diego Business Journal in 2002.

After receiving a master’s from MIT Sloan School of Management, Chandler returned to NASA to become the director of the agency’s Scientific and Technical Information Program in Washington, D.C., according to the journal.

The fatal crash at Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street was reported about 10:15 p.m. March 6, Sgt. Rich Nemetz said.

A 42-year-old woman driving a Toyota minivan north on Sixth Avenue ran a red light at Laurel Street and struck Chandler’s Lexus, which was heading westbound out of Balboa Park, he said.

Chandler was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

The woman was treated for minor injuries, said Sgt. Art Campa.

Police spokeswoman Monica Munoz wrote in an e-mail Thursday that drunk driving charges will be filed when the investigation is complete.