Plane crashes near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Authorities have identified three men killed when their small plane crashed into a parking lot near a South Florida airport.

   Fort Lauderdale Police spokeswoman DeAnna Garcia said Saturday that the crash killed Steven Waller of Deerfield Beach, Wallis Watson of Boca Raton and Kevin Watson of Pompano Beach. Waller was the pilot.

   Authorities said the twin-engine Piper Cheyenne propeller plane began experiencing engine trouble and tried to make an emergency landing shortly after taking off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

According to Matt Little, Fort Lauderdale Public Information Officer, the plane was a Cheyenne 2 twin engine turbo prop. Earlier the FAA said the plane was a Piper PA-31 Navajo.

The crash Friday afternoon set about a dozen vehicles ablaze, but no one on the ground was hurt.

According to WPLG, the cars were parked in a repo lot.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Division Chief John San Angelo told local10.com that seven vehicles and a boat were on fire when firefighters arrived.

   The airport serves smaller planes rather than the larger commercial flights at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

   Garcia said police were working with Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board investigators.

Little says the plane banked to the right and crashed into parked vehicles at 964 NE 53 Court. There were no initial injuries reported on the ground.
 
Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport public information officer Chaz Adams told CBS Miami the plane went down near UK Stone Warehouse, near the southwest corner of the building.
 
Witness Rick Blackburn told NewsChannel 5 he saw the plane banking and it 'popped.' "As it banked it popped, the engine popped and the plane... went to the ground." 
 
Blackburn took cell phone video of the aftermath. "The plane was crashed into the cars and sticking upward in its banked position and the cars started igniting fire. It was pickup truck, a small Cadillac and other cars sitting there."
 
"Our guys tell us there are some fatalities here, and it's just a tragedy," Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler told nbcmiami.com . "Thankfully, for whatever reason, where it landed did not result in the loss of more life" than the three victims who died, Seiler said.

 

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This story was written with information provided by ABC Affiliate WPLG and information from Scripps station WPTV.

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