A small plane crash-landed on a remote Gulf Coast beach in Venice, Florida, killing a Georgia man and critically injuring his 9-year-old daughter as they walked along the shore.
The 1972 Piper Cherokee lost a wheel, damaged a wing and smashed its propeller shortly after making a distress call at about 2:45 p.m. Sunday to Venice Municipal Airport. Caspersen Beach is just south of the airport, at the southern tip of the island of Venice.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office identified the victims as 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and his daughter Oceana. They said a woman who was with the group was treated for cardiac arrest at Venice Regional Bayfront Health. They did not release her name or relationship to Irizarry and his daughter.
Officials told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the victims were hit by either the plane or its debris.
Irizarry died at the scene. His daughter was airlifted to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. Officials have not released further information about the victims, including the city in Georgia where they lived.
Sheriff’s officials say the pilot radioed the airport that he was having trouble with the plane and was planning to land on the beach because he could not make it to the airport.
“He landed on the edge of the water,” said Wendy Rose, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman.
Officials say the pilot, Karl Kokomoor, 57, and the passenger, David Theen, 60, both of nearby Englewood, were not injured.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators were headed to the site.