UK & World News

  • 29 July 2014, 19:29

Girl Hit By Plane Crashing On Beach Dies

A nine-year-old girl who was hit by a plane while walking along the beach with her father has died.

Oceana Irizarrysuccumbed to her injuries in a Florida hospital.

Her father, 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry, died on Sunday after the pair were struck by a single-engine aircraft attempting an emergency landing alongCaspersen Beach in Venice.

"There are no words to describe the suffering we are experiencing," the family said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Their loss is devastating to our family and to everyone who knew them.

"Oceana was a beautiful, intelligent and kind-hearted little girl. She was a natural artist who loved to learn."

Officials said it was not immediately clear whether the father - a sergeant in the US Army - and daughter were hit by the plane or its debris.

SgtIrizarry and his wife, Rebecca, were visiting Florida to celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary.

The couple has two other children.

Sgt Irizarry"was a beloved husband, father, son, brother, friend and soldier," the family statement said.

The pilot of the 1972 Piper Cherokee radioed Venice Airport saying he was having trouble and was planning to land on the beach, according to officials.

An airport worker called 911, telling the dispatcher: "He says he's not going to make the airport. But he's going to be on the beach."

In another emergency call, a family friend cried as she described the scene on the beach.

Screams and wailing could be heard in the background as another man took the phone to provide details on the little girl's condition.

"She's breathing a little right now. Rapid pulse and difficult breathing. She's unconscious," he said.

The pilot, 57-year-old Karl Kokomoor, and his passenger, 60-year-old David Theen, were unhurt.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

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