Investigation continues into crash that killed beachgoer - FOX 13 News

Investigation continues into crash that killed beachgoer

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VENICE (FOX 13) -

The wreckage and the aftermath have left many wondering what happened as pilot Karl Kokomoor of Englewood crash landed on Caspersen Beach.

"It is a tough call you have to make. Just a split decision," said Pilot Leonard Vanlischoten.

Vanlischoten has flown for ten years, and he said the pilot did not have much of a choice.

"You are going to flip over if you landed in the water, because the gear would hit the water first and you are going to go upside down," Vanlischoten said.

Kokomoor was flying his Piper Cherokee Sunday afternoon when something went wrong. He radioed into the Venice airport saying he would try landing on the beach.

"You aren't really seeing any persons at that point. You are just focusing on your instruments, your glide speed. It's tough. It's really tough. Very unfortunate," said Vanlischoten.

On the beach, First Class Army Sergeant Ommy Irizarry and his family were walking. They were visiting Venice for his 9th wedding anniversary.

He and his 9-year-old daughter Oceana were in Kokomoor's path.

"If the engine quits, it is just a glider and the waves of the water kind of disturb the sound of the plane coming in. If you are not facing the way of the plane coming in it is impossible to hear it," said Vanlischoten.

Ommy was killed; Oceana sent to the hospital.

Neighbors of Kokomoor and his passenger David Theen saw them taking off from their Englewood flying community.

"Dave got in the plane and they taxied off and took off," said neighbor Dean Warfel.

They would learn of the tragic accident a few hours later.

"I said, ‘geez that is an Archer 2, and it looks like the one he took off in," Warfel said.

FOX 13 knocked on Theen's door. He opened, saying he was sorry and feels awful. It is an accident that took seconds to unfold, but will alter the lives of those involved forever.

"It is just a couple of second’s time and there are not a lot of things you can do and there is not a lot of options," said Vanlischoten.

The FAA is working on scene with the NTSB. The aircraft will go to a secure location for the investigation.

They will break it down mechanically to determine the source of the engine failure.


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