A girl, 9, died after being struck by a plane Sunday afternoon on a Florida beach. Oceana Irizzary, and her father, Ommy Irizarry, were both critically injured when a small plane attempted to land on Caspersen Beach after running into trouble.
CNN reports that Oceana was rushed to the hospital after the accident while her father Ommy, 36, died at the scene. Both the pilot, Karl Kokomoor, and the plane’s passenger, David Theen, were uninjured. They were in a 1972 Piper Cherokee and they had radioed that they were having trouble and would not be able to make it back to the Venice Municipal Airport. They said instead they were going to try to land at Caspersen Beach, and reports indicate that their aircraft had lost power.
Kokomoor, 57, and Theen, 60, are from Englewood, Florida. The Irizarry family is from Fort Stewart, Georgia. Fox News notes that the Irizarry family was vacationing in Florida at the time of the accident. Ommy and his wife Rebecca were celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary. It seems that Ommy and Oceana were walking together along Caspersen Beach when the plane crash-landed. At this time it is not clear whether the two were hit by the plane or debris from the aircraft.
Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident. Multiple 911 calls were made after the plane crash-landed, with one man describing the 9-year-old girl’s condition. He said she was “breathing a little right now,” but she was unconscious and had a “rapid pulse and difficult breathing.” Another call from a family friend described the scene and others could be heard wailing and screaming in the background.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office was notified Tuesday morning that the 9-year-old girl had died after being struck by the plane. Sadly Ommy, an Army sergeant, had just posted a sweet message on Facebook to his wife the morning the accident happened. He wrote that nine years ago he “tied my life to my beautiful wife,” and he said it is true that time flies when you are having fun. Irizarry added, “I am very happy and can’t wait to see what the next 100 have in store for us. I love you, Becci.”
Ommy and Rebecca Irizzary had three children, the Herald Tribune notes, two girls and a boy. Family, friends and supporters have flooded Ommy’s Facebook page with notes of support and offers of help in the wake of the father and girl dying after being struck by the plane and debris.
[Image via Wink News]