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Small plane crash on Florida beach kills father, seriously injures young child

This small plane crashed on a Florida beach and killed a father and injured his daughter.
This small plane crashed on a Florida beach and killed a father and injured his daughter.
WTSP News, Tampa

A Georgia soldier and father was killed on a Florida Gulf Coast beach on Sunday afternoon when a small plane crashed during an emergency landing. Weather.com reported on July 28, 2014, that 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and his nine-year-old daughter, Oceana, were walking along the beach when a 1972 Piper Cherokee crashed on a remote stretch of Caspersen Beach in Venice, Florida.

Irizarry, a soldier at Fort Stewart in Georgia and an Iraq veteran, was killed on the scene. His daughter was flown to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg where was listed in critical condition. They were vacationing in Florida with their family.

Irizarry and his wife Rebecca were celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary on Sunday when the small plane crash happened.

News-Press reports that 57-year-old pilot Karl Kokomoor and his passenger, 60-year-old David Theen, were not hurt. Their aircraft lost power and had to make an emergency landing on Venice Beach on Sunday afternoon.

Around 2:45 p.m., Venice airport received their distress call that advised they couldn't make it back to the airport. The engine had shut down completely and the plane made no noise as it was coming in so Irizarry and his daughter couldn't hear it approaching.

The FAA is conducing an investigation into the crash. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen did confirm the small plane lost power and crash landed on the sand near Caspersen Beach in Venice, but no further details were available.

At the time of the accident, Irizarry's mother, who was with her family on vacation, was treated by EMTs for cardiac arrest at Venice Regional Bayfront Health.

Irizarry had served at Fort Stewart in Georgia since 2010.

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