A 9-year-old girl who was walking on a Florida beach when she was hit by a small plane making an emergency landing has died, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
Oceana Irizarry had been in critical condition since Sunday's accident on Caspersen Beach in Venice, Fla. Her father, Army Sgt. 1st Class Ommy Irizarry, 36, had been walking with her and was killed when the plane crash-landed.
The tragedy began Sunday when pilot Karl Kokomoor, 57, notified nearby Venice Airport that his 1972 Piper Cherokee was in distress and could not make it back to the airport. Kokomoor said he was going to try to land on the beach, and airport officials notified the sheriff's office, who sent emergency responders to the scene.
Kokomoor put the plane down "at the edge of the water; at the edge of the sand," said Wendy Rose, the sheriff's office public information officer.
Kokomoor and his passenger, David Theen, 60, were not injured. Ommy Irizarry died at the scene and Oceana was airlifted to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.
The crash investigation is being conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is conducting the death investigation.
The Irizarry family was on a vacation from Fort Stewart, Ga. The couple had been celebrating their ninth anniversary.
"It's the last thing you'd expect," said Zack Arceneaux, 17, who witnessed the plane going down. He said even though he documented the crash through photos, the tragedy on the Gulf beach still doesn't seem real.
"I saw that a plane had gone down over there. First thing I saw was the wheel knocked off and the propeller bent," Arceneaux said.
The sheriff's office issued a press release on Oceana's death and the news quickly spread on Twitter.
Contributing: Jennifer Titus, WTSP-TV, Tampa-St. Petersburg