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