Sarasota, Florida -- The 9-year-old girl who was injured when a plane crash landed on a Sarasota beach over the weekend has died.
Oceana Irizarry was at Caspersen Beach with her father, Sgt. 1st Class Ommy Irizarry, when a plane crashed along the shoreline. Ommy was killed, while Oceana was taken to the hospital with critical injuries.
The family issued the following statement on Tuesday morning:
Our precious Oceana has joined her daddy in heaven. She was nine years old. Oceana was a beautiful, intelligent and kind-hearted little girl. She was a natural artist who loved to learn. She was looking forward to the 4th grade.
Ommy, a Sergeant First Class in the Army, was a beloved husband, father, son, brother, friend and soldier. He lit up the room whenever he entered and was devoted to his family.
There are no words to describe the suffering we are experiencing. Their loss is devastating to our family and to everyone who knew them. Thank you to our many loved ones, friends and strangers for your outpouring of love and prayers.
Although they are gone, Ommy and Oceana live on through organ donation. Forever, they will be in our hearts. To all of those who helped us on the beach and medical personnel, thank you for your efforts to save them. We will always be grateful to All Children's Hospital for your skilled and loving care of Oceana and our family.
In sorrow, the Irizarry and Power families.
The Irizarry family was vacationing from Georgia, as Ommy was celebrating his ninth wedding anniversary with his wife. Around 3 p.m Sunday, the Sarasota Sheriff's Office says the pilot a 1972 Piper Cherokee, 57-year-old Karl Kokomoor, reported that his single engine plane couldn't make It back to the airport and he was going to try and land on Caspersen Beach.
"That's what he did at the edge of the water; at the edge of the sand pilot and passenger escaped unharmed," says Wendy Rose, Public Information Officer with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Unfortunately, the Irizarry family was walking on the beach at that time, and the plane hit 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and his young daughter, 9-year-old Oceana. The father died at the scene.
Ommy Irizarry was an Army sergeant stationed in Fort Stewart, Georgia.
"This is a heart-wrenching situation, especially losing loved ones while on vacation to celebrate a family milestone," 3rd Infantry Division and Stewart-Hunter commander Maj. Gen. Mike Murray said in a written statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Irizarry family."
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.
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