Small plane crash on Florida beach: Father walking on sand dies, daughter seriously hurt

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SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- A father was killed and his 9-year-old daughter critically injured Sunday while walking along a Florida beach when a small plane crash landed on the Gulf Coast only feet from the surf, authorities said.

Wendy Rose, a spokesman for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, said the pilot and his only passenger weren't hurt when the Piper aircraft lost power and touched down Sunday afternoon on a beach in Venice, Fla., as the two from Georgia were waling along the sand.

"A man and one of his children who were walking on the beach were apparently injured by the plane," said Rose, adding the 36-year-old man from Georgia was later pronounced dead.

Rose released a statement identifying the dead man as 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and the injured girl as Oceana Irizarry, 9.

The statement said 57-year-old Karl Kokomoor was the pilot and his passenger was David Theen, 60, both of Englewood, Fla.

Rose said events began unfolding about 2:45 p.m. Sunday when the Venice airport received a distress call that the plane was unable to return to the airport.

"They were contacted by a pilot whose small plane was in distress. He knew he couldn't make it back to the airport and was going to try to land on the beach. And he did land at the edge of the water on the beach," Rose said.

She said the girl was airlifted to a children's hospital where she was in critical condition. Details of her injuries weren't immediately released.

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