UPDATE: Girl Hit by Plane on Florida Beach Dies
By Katie Lyons
Sun Jul 27th, 2014 5:06pm America/Los_Angeles
Miami (CNN) — The 9-year-old girl critically injured when an airplane struck her on a Florida beach last weekend has died, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.
The girl, Oceana Irizarry, and her father, Ommy Irizarry, 36, of Georgia were both struck Sunday afternoon by a plane making an emergency landing, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The father died at the scene, and the girl was rushed to a hospital.
Venice Municipal Airport officials reported a plane in distress Sunday afternoon, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Wendy Rose said.
The pilot of a 1972 Piper Cherokee radioed that he would be unable to make it back to the airport and that he was instead going to attempt a landing on Caspersen Beach, just to the south.
The investigation is continuing, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The pilot, Karl Kokomoor, and his passenger, David Theen, were uninjured. Both are from Englewood, Florida.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are also investigating.
On the same day he died, Ommy Irizarry had posted a love message on Facebook to his wife, as they were celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary.
“Thank you for being with me through thick and thin. I love you with all my heart, mi Roma. I am very happy and can’t wait to see what the next 100 have in store for us,” Irizarry wrote.
According to his Facebook page, Irizarry was originally from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. He was an Army Sgt. 1st Class stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
He was a platoon sergeant assigned to Fort Stewart’s Warrior Transition Battalion, the Army said. He twice deployed to Iraq since joining the Army in 2002.
“This is a heart-wrenching situation, especially losing loved ones while on vacation to celebrate a family milestone,” said Maj. Gen. Mike Murray, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division and Stewart-Hunter. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Irizarry family.”
The pilot, Kokomoor, is president and CEO of DMK Associates, an engineering firm with offices in Englewood and Venice, Florida.
A note on the company’s website states that Kokomoor was piloting the small plane when it lost power. The message expresses condolences to the Irizarry family, and says Kokomoor is cooperating with the FAA’s investigation into the incident.
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