Plane crashes on Florida beach, killing soldier and injuring daughter

Photo provided by WTSP of Tampa Bay/Sarasota

VENICE BEACH, Fl, July 28, 2014 — A small plane crash landed on a Florida Gulf Coast beach killing a man and critically injuring his daughter as they took a walk down the beach.

Ommy Irizarry, 36, and his 9 year old daughter, Oceana, were out taking a walk down the beach together on Sunday afternoon in Venice Florida when they were hit by the 1972 Cherokee Piper.

The accident occurred on Caspersen Beach, which is located about 25 miles south of Sarasota/Bradenton International airport around 2:45 p.m.

Georgia resident Irizarry was pronounced dead at the scene. His daughter was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg and said to be in critical condition. Both pilot and passenger were uninjured in the crash.

Izarry had posted on his Facebook page that Sunday was his ninth wedding anniversary. “Thank you for being with me through thick and thin. I love you with all my heart, mi Roma,” he wrote.

An unidentified family member was also treated at a local hospital after going into cardiac arrest.

Izarry was a military serviceman stationed in Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Authorities are still looking into what could have caused the crash. Sherriff’s officials reported that the pilot radioed the airport to say that he was having difficulty with the plane and was going to land on the beach as he did not believe that he would make it to the airport.

Video of the accident site, show the plane next to the water with its nose pointed down. The front landing gear is destroyed. Initial speculation believes that the plane lost power.

Wendy Rose, the public information officer of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, reported to WWSB that it was still unknown what caused the crash but the National Transportation and Safety Board were on route to Venice to investigate the crash site.

Officials say the pilot was Karl Kokomoor, 57, and the passenger was David Theen, 60.

Mr. Kokomoor is the President and CEO of DMK Associates, an engineer and surveyor corporation located in the heard of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Kokomoor’s bio on the company’s website says Mr. Kokomoor has worked in the engineering consulting industry for over 31 years during which time he has served both public and private clients from Jacksonville to Key West, Florida. He is a second generation native of Florida committed to sustainable growth through conscientious design practices.

Mr. Kokomoor has diverse experience in the area of Civil Engineering ranging from structural design of municipal public works to residential and commercial subdivision design and permitting. This diverse experience was derived from years of exposure to many project types existing in the Northeast and Southwest areas of the State of Florida.

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