Latino dad killed & daughter fighting for her life after being hit by plane
What was supposed to be a lovely father-daughter walk along the beach turned into a literal nightmare for one Georgia family. Ommy Irizarry was walking with his 9-year-old daughter, Oceana Irizarry, along a beach in Sarasota, Florida when he was struck by a small plane making an emergency landing.
The 36-year-old dad was killed on impact, according to Sarasota County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Wendy Rose. Fortunately, Irizarry's daughter survived the freak accident. She was transported to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she is said to be in critical condition.
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According to Rose, the plane's pilot, Karl Kokomoor, was forced to land the plane after the small aircraft lost power. "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 in an official statement. Photos and videos of the incident show the plane, a Piper Cherokee, diving precariously towards the sands of Caspersen Beach in Venice--a sight so frightening, it even gave one onlooker a heart attack.
Incredibly, both the pilot and his passenger, 60-year-old David Theen survived the emergency beach landing.
Unfortunately, this explanation will likely do very little to comfort little Oceana and her family, who were visiting the Sarasota from Georgia. There's no telling what sort of long-term emotional toll this ordeal will have on Oceana in the long run, should she recover physically and mentally; I especially fear for her emotional recovery. My heart goes out to her and everyone affected by this traumatic event.
All of this goes to show just how unpredictably short life can be. If we can take anything away from this truly awful story is to live life to the fullest.
UPDATE: Nine-year-old Oceana Irizarry has passed away. According to Puerto Rican daily El Nuevo Dia, she was disconnected from the machines that were keeping her alive earlier today.
Image via ABC News