2 injured in plane crash near Spruce Creek Fly-In

Pilot in critical condition, passenger has non-life-threatening injuries

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

PORT ORANGE, Fla. - Two people were pulled from the wreckage of small plane crash Thursday near the Spruce Creek Fly-In, according to Volusia County sheriff's officials.

The crash was reported at 1:45 p.m. in the area of Cessna Boulevard in Port Orange. Volusia County Sheriff's Office officials said bystanders pulled the pilot and passenger from the plane that burst into flames in an area off the runway.

A man called 911 as other witnesses attempted to pull the two people from the wreckage engulfed in flames.

"I couldn't help him. I am 75-years-old, I just tried," the 911 caller told dispatch. "We have three people over there trying to extract him. I do not think he's going to come out alive."

Officials said the pilot, John Wilson, 61, of Port Orange, was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center with critical injuries and the passenger Matthew Simmons, 35, was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were notified of the crash.

The crash marks at least the third crash in the area since May. 

On May 22, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was killed and an instructor was seriously injured in a crash.

Two days later, an airplane went down near the fly-in, injuring a pilot who suffered a head injury.

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