Two dead after jet plane crash lands on Florida highway, collides with vehicle

By Thomson Reuters Feb 9, 2024 | 4:11 PM

(Reuters) -A small jet airplane crash-landed on Friday on a busy Florida interstate highway and burst into flames after colliding with a vehicle, killing at least two people, according to authorities and news footage from the scene.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane, seen in video and photos engulfed in flames and thick smoke, was a Bombardier Challenger 600 business jet with five people aboard.

The aircraft was landing on the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Collier County near Naples, a city on the southern Gulf Coast, when it collided with a vehicle, according to a statement from the Florida Highway Patrol.

At least two people died in the accident, but it was not immediately known whether they were in the plane or in the vehicle it struck, said Adam Fisher, a spokesperson for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Local media reported the plane had taken off from Columbus, Ohio, and its pilot was trying to land at the Naples airport.

Television station WPLG said the pilot was heard on an air traffic control audio recording telling the Naples control tower that the plane had lost both engines and was unable to make it to the airport there.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Long Beach; Editing by Sandra Maler and David Ljunggren)