Two passengers died when a small plane crashed on a South Florida highway Friday afternoon, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said. Three people were able to get out of the plane, said Robin King, spokesperson for Naples airport. The Federal Aviation Administration said there were five passengers on the flight.
Pilot Edward Daniel Murphy, 50, of Oakland Park, Fla., and second-in-command, Ian Frederick Hofmann, 65, of Pompano Beach, Fla., died in the crash, the sheriff said Saturday. The survivors, Sydney Ann Bosmans, 23, of Jupiter, Fla., and passengers Aaron Baker, 35, and Audra Green, 23, both of Columbus, Ohio, were transported to area hospitals, a indicated the sheriff.
The FAA confirmed that a Bombardier Challenger 600 carrying five people crashednear the city of Naples around 3:15 p.m. He collided with a vehicle, triggering a violent accident, according to the Associated Press.
The plane, which took off from an Ohio State University airport, was scheduled to land in Naples at the time of the crash, Naples Airport Authority spokesman Robin King told The Associated Press Press. However, a pilot contacted the tower and said the plane had lost both engines and needed an emergency landing. The tower then lost contact and airport workers quickly saw smoke coming from the highway, just a few miles away, according to King.
Video footage taken by a witness shows the plane caught fire and a plume of smoke was released.
“A plane just landed RIGHT in front of us on I-75,” the witness said after posting the video on social media.
King told The Associated Press that the airport sent fire trucks equipped with special foam to the crash site. Three of the people on board the plane were pulled out of the wreckage alive. We don’t know what their conditions are.
Southbound lanes on Interstate 75 were closed at mile marker 111, and northbound lanes were closed at mile marker 105, the sheriff’s office said. The department assists with traffic and closures.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, the FAA said. The first NTSB investigator arrived at the crash site Friday afternoon, the Associated Press said, and more are expected to arrive Saturday. A preliminary report on the accident will be shared in about 30 days, federal authorities said.
Kathryn Krupnik contributed reporting.
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