SARASOTA, Florida–A father was killed and his 9-year-old daughter seriously injured Sunday while walking along a Florida beach when a small plane crash landed and struck them, authorities said.
Wendy Rose, a spokeswoman for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, said the pilot and his passenger weren’t hurt when the Piper aircraft lost power and touched down next to the water’s edge.
“A man and one of his children who were walking on the beach were apparently injured by the plane,” said Rose. She said the 36-year-old man was later pronounced dead.
She said a local airport received a distress call that the plane couldn’t make it back to the airport.
“He knew he couldn’t make it back to the airport and was going to try to land on the beach. And he did land at the edge of the water on the beach,” Rose added.
She said the girl was airlifted to a hospital where she was apparently in critical condition.
Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), told The Associated Press in an email that the agency was investigating. She said the plane reportedly lost power but had no details.
Rose later released a statement identifying the dead man as 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and the injured girl as Oceana Irizarry, 9.
The statement said 57-year-old Karl Kokomoor was the pilot and his passenger was David Theen, 60.