Elderly couple injured when plane crashes onto garage in Lake Alfred

LAKE ALFRED, Fla. (WFLA) — An elderly couple was taken to the hospital after their plane crashed into a garage Friday in Lake Alfred.

Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office say emergency dispatchers received a call at 9:53 a.m. about a small plane crashing into a house located at 1150 South Buena Vista Drive.

Lake Alfred Police Department officers arrived on-scene and found the pilot, 84-year-old John Murphy, and his wife, 75-year-old Doris Murphy, both of 585 Sellars Drive in Lake Alfred.

The loud noise sent neighbor Mark Henke running outside. “I heard a big boom, and then everything just went silent,” Henke said.

He helped pull Doris Murphy out of the plane.

“There was a guy over there already, and he said help, help! So I ran around the back where the plane was. They had a guy on the ground from the plane. So I helped get the woman out. She was kind of trapped in there, and we wiggled her out. The guy, he was laying on the ground he had a big bash on his head.”

The couple suffered non-life-threatening injuries. They were both taken to a local hospital where they are in stable condition.

Investigators say the plane, a Republic Seabee, lost altitude shortly after takeoff and struck a detached garage.

“This plane left from Winter Haven Airport, and shortly after takeoff had some type of engine failure,” said Lake Alfred Police Chief Art Bodenheimer.

Nobody was home at the time, otherwise, Chief Bodenheimer said the outcome could have been much worse.

“In this path, we have a whole neighborhood full of homes, including this one. We have some very high power lines that could’ve been catastrophic. God was looking out for these people, and the homeowners that would usually be here.”

The FAA is investigating. The plane will be guarded overnight and removed sometime Saturday morning.

Get our hottest stories
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for News Channel 8’s Noon Newsletter to get
updates on the day’s top stories

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s