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2 Dead As Private Jet Carrying 5 Lands On Florida Interstate

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The incident occurred in the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Collier County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Two people were killed after a private jet carrying five people landed on an interstate in southwest Florida and crashed into a vehicle on Friday afternoon, authorities said.

The incident occurred in the southbound lanes of Interstate 75, near mile marker 107 in Collier County, according to a Friday-afternoon statement from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Footage from the scene showed what looked like wreckage, with smoke billowing from it and dozens of emergency vehicles.

Pilot Edward Daniel Murphy, 50, of Oakland Park, Florida, and second in command Ian Frederick Hofmann, 65, of Pompano Beach, Florida, were killed, authorities said Saturday.

Two passengers and a crew member survived and were taken to the hospital for treatment. Their names are Aaron Baker, 35, of Columbus, Ohio; Audra Green, 23, also of Columbus; and Sydney Ann Bosmans, 23, of Jupiter, Florida.

Two vehicles traveling south on Interstate 75 were involved in the incident and were damaged, Florida Highway Patrol said in an updated statement Saturday. A 48-year-old man from Naples was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and was hospitalized with minor injuries, authorities said.

A 66-year-old woman from Massachusetts driving a 2023 Nissan Armada SUV and two of her passengers were not injured.

Christopher Hofmann, the son of co-pilot Ian Hofmann, said in a statement that the family was “in shock and devastated.”

“We know our father died a hero doing his best to save everyone he could on the plane,” he said. “We ask for prayers during this difficult time.”

The incident occurred at about 3:15 p.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which said the plane is a Bombardier Challenger 600 jet.

Robin King, a spokesperson with the Naples Airport Authority, said three people on board the private plane managed to escape the wreck.

The plane took off from the Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, Ohio, at about 1 p.m. The jet was minutes from landing at Naples Airport when the pilots told air traffic control the aircraft’s two engines malfunctioned, King said.

“The air traffic controllers then lost contact with the aircraft,” King said.

Witness Steve Steelsmith, who took video of the aftermath of the incident, told WBBH he was headed southbound on the interstate when the low-flying plane caught his eye.

“As the plane was coming in, I seen he tried to bank it left, kind of at the last moment and then there was the impact. I didn’t really have a good visual of the impact but I saw the explosion and the smoke coming from the airplane itself,” Steelsmith told the news outlet.

He said that’s when he drove to the scene and began taking video.

“As I was climbing out of my truck, there was an initial explosion, that, at that point, you knew that whoever was still on the plane, it was just a loss,” he said.

The plane hit a truck, and someone in the truck sustained a laceration on his head, Steelsmith said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, authorities said


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