Plane Crash in Central Florida Claims 5 Lives

Los Angeles, CA (PressExposure) August 07, 2007 -- A plane crashed in a Sanford neighborhood on July 10, 2007 claiming five lives. Among those reported dead are the pilot of the plane, which is a Cessna 310, Michael Klemm, fifty six years old and the sole passenger, Dr. Bruce Kennedy, who is the husband of International Speedway Corporation's president, Lesa France Kennedy. The others are Gabriela Dechat, 4 years old, Janice Joseph Woodard, 24 years old and her baby, Joseph Louis Woodard, 6 months old. These three were killed shortly after the plane crashed and touched off a fire on two houses.

The fire on the two houses where the plane crashed continued on smoldering until Tuesday evening. This event left the whole neighborhood a burnt smell.

Other victims of the crash and the aftermath fire were Dechat's parents. Peter Dechat, the father of the killed victim was in a critical condition and flown over to the Cincinnati Burn Center. In addition, the firefighter who was off-duty but helped during the rescue was treated due to smoke inhalation. Fortunately, he did not suffer serious injuries.

Earlier, the people in the neighborhood were not yet fully aware of a plane crash on the two homes nearby when they saw a boy of about 10 years old, on fire jumping out from a second-floor window. The boy was not identified yet.

The air plane crash occurred around 8:30 to 9:00 AM, the time when many of the people in the subdivision have gone out to work, already.

The airplane was westbound, from Daytona Beach, Florida and was bound to land in Lakeland. It happened to clip the tops of the oak trees that were lined up as perimeter of the new subdivision, which has more or less 300 homes. The pilot reported smoke in the plane's cockpit and attempted to land on the Sanford-Orlando International Airport. However, it crashed in the subdivision itself, only about three miles from the airport.

According to Deputy Chief of Police, Darrel Presley of Sanford, the plane crash can be considered a freak accident due to its horrific scene. The investigators had spent their time digging for engine parts of the plane, wing pieces and the airplane doors that are strewn all over the backyards' gas grills and woven furniture. They will be attempting to figure out the reason behind the pilot's report of smoke on the small airplane before crashing into the homes.

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Press Release Submitted On: July 17, 2007 at 1:43 pm
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