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Plane crashes into car at Central Fla. church, officials say

Pilot injured in crash, fire rescue says

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BARTOW, Fla. – A plane crashed into a utility pole and an SUV Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of a Central Florida church, injuring the pilot, fire rescue officials said.

Polk County Fire Rescue said on its Facebook page the small plane went down in the parking lot of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church on Griffin Road in Bartow.

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The pastor of the church said the congregation of nearly 300 people was in the middle of worship when they heard a loud bang, according to the post. Someone went outside to see what the noise was and went back inside to inform the churchgoers that a plane had crashed in the parking lot, officials said.

Two registered nurses, along with the church's medical ministry, rushed outside to care for the pilot until Polk County Fire Rescue crews arrived. The pilot was taken to Bartow Municipal Airport to be airlifted to Lakeland Regional Health.

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Photographs posted on the fire agency's Facebook page showed an overturned white SUV with the wreckage of a single-engine aircraft on top of it.

There were no immediate reports of any other injuries.

Polk County officials said the single engine aircraft damages six other vehicles.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, officials said.


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