SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — A Georgia man was killed and his daughter critically injured Sunday when an airplane struck them as they walked along a Florida beach.
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Wendy Rose said Venice Municipal Airport officials reported a plane in distress Sunday afternoon.
The pilot of a 1972 Piper Cherokee radioed that he would be unable to make it back to the airport and that he was instead going to attempt a landing on Caspersen Beach, just to the south.
The plane landed and hit Ommy Irizarry, 36, and his daughter, Oceana, 9, about 2:45 p.m., according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Irizarry died on the scene. His daughter was airlifted to All Children’s Hospital and is believed to be in critical condition, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to BuzzFeed, Irizarry posted this Facebook status about how much he loves his wife before he died:
“The dad looked very bad,” witness Zack Arceneaux told CNN affiliate Bay News 9. “They were performing CPR on him. He had blood on his face. It looked like he wasn’t breathing at all.”
“It’s the last thing you’d expect,” Arceneaux said to CNN affiliate WTSP. “I didn’t hear anything. Actually I thought the motor must’ve went out. I didn’t hear anything. Figured, maybe it ran out of fuel and just hit them and they weren’t ready.”
The pilot, Karl Kokomoor and his passenger, David Theen, were uninjured. Both are from Englewood, Florida.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating.