DELAND, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The Volusia County Sheriff's Office says three people were killed when a small plane crashed and caught fire in DeLand.
The crash was reported around 4 p.m. on Sunday in a wooded area off State Road 44 and Grand Avenue.
Responding officers say they found three people with no pulse. They have been identified as 27-year-old Armand Girouard, 32-year-old Ernendro Philippe, and 34-year-old Shawna Carbonaro.
“I saw the plane go by, but the tree line is so high, I didn’t see it go down,” Dennis Morton, who lives near where the crash happened, said. “All I heard was the backfiring of the motor, and usually when it backfires on a motor, it would rev back up and it never revved back up.”
“What can you say?” Diane Rodrigue, who saw the plane crash, said. “People lost their life today. Not really much you can say about that.”
Several people who were in the area saw the plane go down and rushed to help.
“They all threw the dirt up on the plane, and they had a couple of fire extinguishers,” Rodrigue said. “Some people pulled the lady out on the other side.”
Greg Kwiatkowski was one of the people who tried to help.
“[We wanted to] see if we could figure out how to get back there and help them in case they needed help getting out of the plane,” Kwiatkowski said. “There was nothing we could really do. We tried.”
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified of the crash, and traffic on S.R. 44 was shut down between Grand Avenue and Old New York Avenue.
Investigators say the plane was a Cessna 421.