A little girl and her father both died from their injuries sustained after a plane hit them while trying to crash-land on a Florida Beach Sunday, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday.
Oceana Irizarry and her family were walking along Caspersen Beach in Venice on Sunday when the pilot of a single-engine Piper plane alerted the local municipal airport he was going to make an emergency landing on the beach.
Oceana’s father, Amry Sergeant 1st Class Ommy Irizarry, 36, who was stationed in Fort Stewart Georgia, died on Sunday from his injuries.
Oceana was airlifted to a children’s hospital in St. Petersburg in critical condition, where she also died.
Ommy Irizarry and his wife, Rebecca, were celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary on the same day he died. Rebecca, two of Irizarry’s other children, Ommy’s mother and at least one family friend were on the beach when the plan hit but were not injured, the sheriff’s office said.
After hitting the father and daughter, the plane went for another 50 yards before it crashed into the sand according to the sheriff’s office. The pilot and passenger onboard were not injured.
The sheriff’s office turned the investigation over to the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, sheriff’s spokesperson Wendy Rose said.
On Monday, three 911 calls were released from bystanders. “The plane came down and hit my friend’s husband and daughter,” one caller said, telling a dispatcher the male victim was bleeding but conscious, and the young female was not bleeding but unconscious. Another call was from a Venice Airport official, who said the pilot had radioed to tell the airport he could not land there, but didn’t say why, and would be landing a mile south on the beach.
“Our precious Oceana has joined her daddy in heaven,” family members said in a statement. “There are no words to describe the suffering we are experiencing.”
Little Girl Dies From Florida Plane Crash While Celebrating Parent’s Anniversary