LAKE CITY, Fla. — A picture a viewer sent to Action News Jax shows the moment when a plane crashed into the front yard of a home off Sisters Welcome Road and Creekside Lane in Lake City on Saturday morning.
In the picture, you can see a man in an orange shirt running across the yard to try to help the pilot, but he had to back off because the flames were too much.
Neighbors watched as a ball of fire flared up in their neighbor’s yard.
Kristy Amato says she hears many small planes and often worries about them.
“I was sitting on my couch watching a movie with my daughter, and I heard a plane take off like all of the planes take off. Then I heard a backfire, then a loud kaboom, so I ran out front and there was a plane in my neighbor’s yard on fire,” Amato said.
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Murray Smith told Action News Jax that after crews put the fire out, the pilot’s body was found underneath debris.
“Shortly before 10, we received about 59 911 calls,” Smith said. Smith said he believes the plane was a single-engine aircraft.
He said thankfully, the family inside the house made it out safely.
Action News Jax checked and found out the crash happened less than a half-mile north of Cannon Creek Airpark.
The National Transportation Safety Board is now working to find out where the Piper PA-32 was going and the name of the pilot who died. They think he was the only person on the plane.
“There is an airport nearby, but so many neighbors have come over and gave so many stories, so we’re just going to wait for NTSB to get all of the facts straight,” said Smith.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB are investigating what caused the plane to crash, but the answer likely won’t be determined for months.
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