Winter Haven, Florida, police received a shocking 911 call on Saturday that they won’t soon forget. While on a practice flight, a small plane crashed into a family’s home near one of the children’s bedrooms. On board was 64-year-old flight instructor James Wagner and his trainee student pilot Timothy Sheehy. Sheehy, 33, had been learning what to do in the case of engine failure. Ironically, their plane lost power during the practice, causing it to come crashing to the ground, according to NBC News. The crash occurred shortly after the plane took off at around 1 p.m. from Winter Haven’s Gilbert Airport.
Carmelle Ngalamulume, 17, had been inside the home while her younger siblings played outside in the front yard. When the plane crashed, she was pinned up against a wall. The panicked 911 caller said he watched the plane struggle mid-air before crashing into the Ngalamulume home.
“It crashed into a house. We gotta get everybody out of the house still. One guy is dead, and one lady is stuck in the wall. Get the ambulance here. She’s breathing.”
Carmelle’s younger brother attempted to free her but to no avail. Rescue crews were able to get her safely out of the home along with her mother, who was also injured, according to ABC News.
Unfortunately, Wagner lost his life in the crash. However, to the shock of rescue crews, Sheehy, a former Navy Seal, managed to survive. In fact, he was even able to step out of the plane without assistance. He was rushed to the hospital and treated for minor injuries. Meanwhile, Ngalamulume was also taken to a local hospital where she remains in stable condition. Her younger siblings, ages 2, 11, and 15-years old, were all uninjured when the plane crashed into their home. Had they not been outside the home at the time, their fate might have been different.
Plane crashes into home in Florida https://t.co/39Wr9H8l2O— Rose Ann Haven (@WKRG_RoseAnn) February 23, 2019
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd spoke out regarding the tragic situation. While it was indeed a heartbreaking day for Wagner’s family, it was one of great relief for the Ngalamulume family.
“Preliminary information is that the pilots were conducting simulated engine failure. It is not known at this time what caused the crash. As tragic as this was for Mr. Wagner and his family, this could have been much, much worse. This crash is an unbelievable scene.”
It’s not yet clear whether Wagner or Sheehy had been flying the plane at the time of the crash or what exactly caused things to go so terribly wrong.