Five Killed after Small Plane Crashes into Florida Homes

Updated: 07-10-2007 12:37:16 PM

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A small plane crashed into a Seminole County neighborhood on Tuesday killing five people and sparking a fire.

It happened at the Preserves at Lake Monroe subdivision along Wilson Bay Ridge Street, WESH 2 News reported.

One of the victims aboard the plane was identified as Dr. Bruce Kennedy, a plastic surgeon and son-in-law of Bill France Jr., the former head of NASCAR who died earlier this year. The second person aboard the plane was not immediately identified.

The plane was a Cessna 310 enroute from Daytona Beach to Lakeland when it reported smoke in the cockpit and declared an emergency. It crashed about 3 miles north-northwest of Orlando-Sanford International Airport and was registered to Competitor Liaison Bureau Inc. of Daytona Beach, Federal Aviation Administration representative Kathleen Bergen said.

State officials said Competitor Liason Bureau is a company registered to France.

At least three people, including a man, a woman and a child, were critically injured, and two helicopters were called to transport the victims to local hospitals, Sanford Police Department spokeswoman Cleo Cohen said. A search is under way for a 4-year-old child missing since the crash.

An off-duty Lake Mary firefighter was also treated for chest pains after rushing into a home to rescue a 10-year-old boy without an oxygen tank. He was transported to a hospital.

Neighborhood residents said they could hear the plane over their subdivision before the aircraft crashed into two homes.

"First I heard a plane flying overhead. It sounded like a semitruck coming down the road trying to slow down. As soon as it hit, it exploded into flames," a witness said.

Video from Chopper 2 showed two homes were gutted by the crash and fire. A third home was also damaged. Multiple fire engines are at the scene working to extinguish the flames. Neighbors said they were terrified in the aftermath of the crash.

"A boy jumped out of the second story. He was on fire and extinguished himself. The wife ran out of the front door. She was on fire. Someone was screaming about a baby still inside the house," a witness said.

The subdivision is located along Riverview and Narcissus avenues. The homes in the subdivision are only a few years old, reports indicated.

Stay with WESH 2 News and for further details.