It was supposed to be a family trip to the beach to celebrate a wedding anniversary. But on Tuesday, a Georgia family lost its second member to the unimaginable: An airplane crash- landing on a Florida beach, striking a father and daughter.
The 9-year-old girl hit by the plane while on the beach with her father has died, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday. Oceana Irizarry, of Fort Stewart, had been in critical condition since Sunday afternoon, when both she and her father were hit by the plane as it landed on Caspersen Beach in Venice. Sgt. 1st Class Ommy Irizarry, 36, died at the scene of the crash.
Moments before the crash, the pilot of the 1972 Piper Cherokee radioed that he was having trouble, couldn’t make it to the nearest airport and was going to try to land on the beach. Witnesses said the plane was quiet as it landed, hitting the father and daughter. Neither the pilot nor his passenger were injured in the crash, which remains under investigation.
The day of the crash, Ommy Irizarry posted on Facebook a loving tribute to his wife. It was the couple’s ninth wedding anniversary.
“Today, 9 years ago, I tied my life to my beautiful wife, Rebecca Irizarry,” the soldier posted. “Wow, how fast time has passed! They say time flies when you are having fun. It is true. Thank you for being with me through thick and thin. I love you with all my heart, mi Roma. I am very happy and can’t wait to see what the next 100 have in store for us. I love you, Becci.”
On Monday, Rebecca Irizarry posted pictures of a smiling family of five in the ocean, likely the final photo of the five together.
Ommy Irizarry, a native of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, joined the Army in 2002 and was twice deployed to Iraq, a Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield spokesman said. He moved to Fort Stewart in 2010.
An online fundraising page on GoFundMe.com was created Tuesday to assist the Irizarry family.