Passenger in Palatka plane crash Friday dies
Palm Coast pilot hurt, passenger died after plane crashed behind Lowe's
PALATKA – The passenger in a after a single-engine plane that crashed Friday morning near the Palatka airport died Friday night. The pilot remains hospitalized.
Authorities are trying to figure out what cause the planed to go down about 1,500 feet from the runway at Kay Larkin Field.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Friday both the pilot and passenger in the Cessna 400 were flown by air ambulance to UF Health/Shands in Gainesville, where the passenger died about 10:30 p.m.
The FHP identified the pilot as 73-year-old Richard Carrara and the passenger as 71-year-old Malcolm Clevenstine. Both are Palm Coast residents.
"The passenger was non-responsive to me as far as anything verbal," Palatka Police Cpl. Todd Davis said. "He did make some movements for a second.
I don't know if he was responsive to what I was asking him or humanity (was) kicking in."
Troopers say the plane had just completed a touch-and-go on the runway about 10:50 a.m when the engine stalled and it crashed into the edge of a retention pond behind the Lowe's. The plane then struck a grassy embankment, went through a chain-link fence, hit a concrete support beam and slid into a stack of pallets.
No one on the ground was injured, but investigators said the plane might have made it all the way into the building if the beam had not slowed the momentum of the plane.
The FHP says the plane, owned by Carrara, took off from St. Augustine earlier Friday morning. According to FAA records, the 2008 aircraft had its last airworthiness check three years ago.
Troopers estimated damage to the plane at $25,000.
Palatka police, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office and Florida Highway Patrol were holding the scene until the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA arrived to take over the investigation.
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