SARASOTA, Florida (AP)
A 9-year-old girl who was struck by a plane that crash-landed on a beach while she vacationed with her family has died from her injuries, law enforcement officials in Florida said Tuesday.
Oceana Irizzary’s father also was killed Sunday. The two, from Georgia, were walking along a beach in Venice on Sunday afternoon when the 1972 Piper Cherokee plane made an emergency landing after reporting problems.
Ommy Irizarry, a U.S. Army sergeant celebrating his ninth anniversary with wife Rebecca, died at the scene Sunday. His daughter was airlifted to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday morning that they were notified by the medical examiner’s office of the girl’s death.
It was unclear how the plane or the debris hit the father and his daughter. Officials say the pilot radioed the airport that he was having trouble with the plane and was planning to land on the beach.
“He’s trying to make the airport,” a woman making an emergency call from the airport said. “He says he’s not going to make the airport. But he’s going to be on the beach.”
In other emergency calls, a family friend cried as she described the scene while screams and wailing could be heard in the background. Another man told a dispatcher about the little girl’s condition.
“She’s breathing a little right now,” a man said. “Rapid pulse and difficult breathing. She’s unconscious.”
The pilot was identified as Karl Kokomoor, 57, and the passenger was David Theen, 60. They were not injured.
The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating.
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