Girl hit by airplane dies

SARASOTA, Fla. - The 9-year-old girl who was injured when a plane crash-landed on a Sarasota beach over the weekend has died.

Oceana Irizzary was at Caspersen Beach with her father, 36-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Ommy Irizarry, when a plane crashed along the shoreline. Ommy was killed, while Oceana was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. The Largo Medical Examiner's Office says the young girl has since passed away.

The Irizarry family was vacationing from Georgia, as Ommy was celebrating his ninth wedding anniversary with his wife. Around 3 p.m. Sunday, the Sarasota Sheriff's Office says the pilot a 1972 Piper Cherokee, 57-year-old Karl Kokomoor, reported that his single engine plane couldn't make it back to the airport and he was going to try and land on Caspersen Beach.

"That's what he did at the edge of the water; at the edge of the sand pilot and passenger escaped unharmed," said Wendy Rose, public information officer with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

The Irizarry family was walking on the beach at that time, and the plane hit Ommy and Oceana. Ommy father died at the scene. He was an Army sergeant stationed in Fort Stewart, Georgia.

"This is a heart-wrenching situation, especially losing loved ones while on vacation to celebrate a family milestone," 3rd Infantry Division and Stewart-Hunter commander Maj. Gen. Mike Murray said in a written statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Irizarry family."


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