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Homeowner jumps in pond searching for survivors after plane crash

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Updated: 12/09/2013 6:24 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A father and his two daughters are all dead after the small Cessna plane they were traveling in crash-landed in Arlington. 

Dr. Michael Huber and his daughters Tess and Abigail were headed to Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport from Ft. Pierce. 

Crime scene tape is still blocking off a huge chunk of homes in the Sutton Lakes neighborhood. The recovery team spent the day Monday figuring out how to remove the plane. 

Living just a half mile from Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport, J.R. Vance said he's grown accustomed to the sound of planes overhead. But Sunday night, the sound was just not right. 

"By the time I got to my door, that's when I heard the initial thud and that was the actual plane landing in the water," Vance said. 

The plane crashed a mere 30 feet form where Vance, his pregnant fiancee and his 2-year-old daughter were sitting. He said he didn't hesitate before jumping into the water to search for possible survivors.

"I initially tried to pull the pilot, (he) was kind of hanging out the window, I tried to pull him out but he was really tangled up. There was nothing I could do for him. When I was walking back out of the water that's when I actually bumped into the female passenger who was ejected. She was still in her seat," he said. 

His neighbor helped pull the woman out of the seat and into the yard -- jarring memories that he said he won't ever be able to shake. His quick actions have some hailing him a hero. 

"Not a hero at all," Vance said. "I just did what any person who's fit enough to try to save a life. 

He said he's so thankful the pilot had the sense of direction to guide the plane to the water because it otherwise would have hit his house. His prayers are with the Huber family. 
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