Small plane hits houses, crashes into Daytona Beach retention pond

Police: Student, instructor were on plane that crashed near Campanello Court

By Clay LePard - Reporter, Anna Johnson - Digital Journalist, Troy Blevins

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Officials from the Daytona Beach Fire Department said a small plane crashed into a retention pond behind a Daytona Beach neighborhood Saturday.

The plane crashed around 3 p.m. by the 100 block of Campanello Court, officials said.

Officials said there were two people on board the plane when it went down during a heavy thunderstorm. They were able to get out of the aircraft on their own and make their way to the side of the pond.

"It happened during a bad thunderstorm; however, we don't know if that's what caused the crash," said Sasha Staton, with the Daytona Beach Fire Department.

The two people were alert and talking while Daytona Beach firefighters were assessing them, officials said. Daytona Beach police said they both suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to Halifax Health Medical Center.

"They were swimming from the middle to the shore and by the time I opened up, they walked around and came up to my back porch, and they were bleeding," said Dorcas McCoy, who called 911. "I'm just so grateful to God. It was nothing short of a miracle, nothing short of a miracle."

There was a student and an instructor on the plane, police said. It is unclear who was piloting the aircraft.

Officials said the plane hit two houses before crashing into the pond. One of the houses has minor damage while the other has more extensive damage, with a large hole in the roof.

Anthony Scott was upstairs in his home when the plane took a bite out of the master bathroom on the other side of the house, where his daughter had taken a shower one hour earlier.

"Heard a buzzing and boom, it shook the whole house," he said. "I'm lucky and blessed. Thank God it didn't hit the center of the house."

No one inside either of the houses was injured, police said.

The Red Cross was called to assist the homeowners in the event they needed to vacate the home temporarily, officials said.

The plane landed upside down in the pond and will be removed by the National Transportation Safety Board, which will take over the crash investigation, police said.

A statement from the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane is a Piper PA 44 Seminole.

Daytona Beach Fire Department

Daytona Beach Fire Department

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