CRESCENT CITY, Fla. – Two men were killed Wednesday morning when a small plane crashed in a remote area south of Crescent City, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
The crash was reported just before 9:30 a.m. on the property of a fern farm near U.S. 17 and Smiley Store Road.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers identified the men as Thomas E. Stevens, 67, of Crescent City and Joe Anthony Fyock of Orange City.
People who knew Stevens said he was taking off from his farm about a mile away from the crash site when they heard a loud explosion and came running. They said he was taking a joyride in the plane, an ultralight experimental aircraft (similar to the one pictured).
According to the FHP report, "for reasons still under investigation, the aircraft quickly lost altitude and struck the trees and ground below."
Stevens was flying the plane and Fyock was his passenger.
The Sheriff's Office said it received dozens of phone calls to 911 from people who reported seeing the plane crash.