SANFORD, Fla. — A small plane carrying the husband of a NASCAR executive crashed into two houses while trying to make an emergency landing Tuesday, killing five people and starting fires that seriously burned three others, authorities said.
NASCAR confirmed that Dr. Bruce Kennedy, a Daytona Beach plastic surgeon and husband of International Speedway Corporation President Lesa France Kennedy, and NASCAR Aviation pilot Michael Klemm were among the dead.
The identities of the other victims on the ground were not immediately released.
Authorities said an adult and two children died in the homes that caught fire when the airplane crashed in the suburban Orlando neighborhood Tuesday morning.
Both of the homes were largely gutted by the flames, and smoke could be seen rising from the suburban Orlando neighborhood where the plane went down around 8:40 a.m.
Matt Minnetto, a fire investigator with Sanford Fire Department, said the plane itself was scattered in several pieces. At least three people were injured in one of the homes, including two adults and a boy about 10 years old who had burns over 80 to 90 percent of his body, Minnetto said.
“It was an extremely intense fire,” Minnetto said. The crash spilled aviation fuel, contributing to the fire’s spread.
Three of the victims killed in the crash and fire were believed to have been inside or near the homes, said Seminole County Fire Chief Leeanna Raw. She said three of the five people killed were adults. In one home, there were reports that a toddler might have been missing in the fire, Minnetto said.
A firefighter who responded to the blazes was also hurt.
Registered to ex-chairman of NASCAR
The twin engine Cessna 310 was registered to Competitor Liaison Bureau Inc. of Daytona Beach, said Kathleen Bergen with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Competitor Liaison is registered under the name of William C. France, the late chairman of NASCAR, according to online records from the Department of State Division of Corporations show. James C. France is listed as an officer of the company.
A message left with an airport spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
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