Wind may have been factor in double fatal ultralight crash in Winter Haven

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - A man and a woman died in a fatal ultralight aircraft crash Sunday morning, Winter Haven police say.

Winter Haven police arrived on scene at the Winter Haven Municipal Airport at 11:20 a.m.

Upon arrival, they found Susanne Broadbelt, 60, dead at the scene and Gary Lawrence, 61, suffering from serious injuries.

According to Jamie Brown, Winter Haven police spokeswoman, the pair had been practicing touch and goes in their Airborne Windsport.

Officials say that while they were practicing the touch and go maneuvers the aircraft hit the ground, flipped over and slid 168 feet before coming to a stop.

Lawrence was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he died a short time later due to his injuries.

Strong wind gusts of 30 to 35 miles per hour were reported at the time.

It is believed the wind gusts could have played a role in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation and Safety Board are currently investigating the scene.

Chief of Winter Haven police, Gary Hester, commented on the crash saying, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families as they endure the realization of losing their loved ones. "

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