One person was killed and five others were injured after a small plane crashed on a bridge near Miami on Saturday afternoon, striking an SUV with three passengers and bursting into flames.
The small plane carrying a pilot and two passengers was travelling north over Haulover Inlet Bridge when it crashed into an SUV travelling southbound, Miami-Dade police said in a press release. The plane then caught fire and fire officials discovered a body in the plane while extinguishing the flames.
The single-engine Cessna 172 departed from Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale International Airport bound for Key West and soon lost power, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.
A woman was driving the SUV and had two toddlers in the vehicle,who were taken to a hospital for evaluation, according to police.
“It is miraculous,” Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta told NBC Miami, that the occupants in the car were OK. “So we’re thankful for that but it’s still unfortunate that we did lose somebody on this scene.”
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association confirmed the person who died was Narciso Torres, 36, a veteran Miami Airport Traffic Control Tower controller who was on board the plane.
“Like so many thousands of our members, Narciso had such a deep love of all things aviation, and of flying, as evidenced by this flight on a beautiful South Florida day where he was doing what he loved,” NATCA President Rich Santa said in a statement. “This loss hurts so deeply. Narciso will never be forgotten.”
Torres served as local union president at Miami International Airport since 2019, according to the NATCA.
“He was beloved,” Doug Church, deputy director of public affairs for the union, told the Miami Herald. “It’s a terrible loss.”
Drone footage shared on social media showed the plane crumpled on the Haulover Inlet Bridge with a damaged SUV nearby. A man can be seen scrambling from the plane and being helped by others to the side of the roadway just before the aircraft became engulfed in flames.
Contributing: The Associated Press