Florida Father Killed, Daughter Critically Injured in Beach Plane Crash
Pilot Radioed Airport He Could Not Make It, Had to Land on Beach
— -- A man was killed and his daughter critically injured Sunday when they were hit by a plane making an emergency landing on a Florida beach, officials said.
"One man is deceased, and a young girl, possibly around the age of 10 is very critically injured," Sarasota County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Wendy Rose told ABC News.
Ommy Irizarry, 36, and his daughter, Oceana Irizarry, 9, were walking along the beach in Sarasota County, Fla., when a small plane made an emergency crash landing along the shore, killing the man on impact, Rose said.
The little girl was transported via helicopter to to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, where she was in critical condition.
Neither the pilot, identified as Karl Kokomoor, 57, of Englewood, Fla., nor the passenger on the plane, David Theen, 60, also of Englewood, were injured in the landing, Rose said.
"The pilot radioed that he was not going to be able to make it back to the airport, and he was going to try to land on the hard-packed sand of the beach," she said. "He landed about the water's edge and the pilot and his male passenger were both unharmed."
From the time the pilot radioed in distress to the crash landing, the whole thing happened very quickly.
"I do know the timing of his radio to the Venice Airport and immediate response was minutes so there was not, from what I understand, there was not a lot of time between his radio dispatch and the crash," she said.
Venice Mayor John Holic, a former air traffic controller, said it is likely the plane lost power in flight and was trying to land in an open space or at nearby Venice Airport.
"One of the first things that you learn when you're flying is to always be aware of your surroundings and where you may be able to touch down in the event of loss of power. A beach is a viable place," he told ABC News.
A woman who witnessed the crash was also taken to a hospital after having stress-induced cardiac issues not directly related to the crash, according to Rose.
Police have not yet released the names of the victim.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators are on their way to the scene of the accident to begin investigating, in cooperation with the FAA.
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