Man Hit, Killed On Beach By Crashing Plane Was A Soldier

Venice, FL -- A man was killed and his daughter is in critical condition in the hospital after a plane crashed on a Bay Area beach.

Deputies say on Sunday afternoon, the family was walking on the beach, when a plane crashed into the sand.

The beach-goers quickly became victims.

"It's the last thing you'd expect," says 17-year-old Zack Arceneaux who witnessed the plane going down. He says even though he took these photos, this tragedy on the beach still doesn't seem real.

"I saw that a plane had gone down over there. First thing I saw was the wheel knocked off and the propeller bent," says Arceneaux.

Around 3 p.m Sunday, the sheriff's office says the pilot a 1972 Piper Cherokee, 57-year-old Karl Kokomoor, reported that his single engine plane couldn't make It back to the airport and he was going to try and land on Caspersen Beach.

"That's what he did at the edge of the water; at the edge of the sand pilot and passenger escaped unharmed," says Wendy Rose, Public Information Officer with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

Unfortunately, a family was walking on the beach at that time when the plane hit 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and his young daughter, 9-year-old Oceana. Ommy was killed. Monday authorities confirmed hat Irizarry was a solider from Georgia.

"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," says Arcenaux. "I was not expecting to come to the beach and see a plane on the ground."

The young girl was Bayflighted to All Children's Hospital in critical condition. The pilot and a passenger on the plane, 60-year-old David Theen, were also both taken to the hospital for serious injuries.

The NTSB is investigating the cause of the plane crash.

A family member of the victim was transported to a local hospital after going into cardiac arrest upon finding out the tragic news.


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