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Three Polk County residents involved in plane crash in South Florida

Posted: 4:23 PM, Jan 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-26 08:09:23Z

Three people were airlifted to the hospital Thursday afternoon after a small plane crashed on the runway in Marathon, Florida.

The Piper Lance, single engine plane was trying to take off from Marathon Airport traveling north on runway 7. One of the passengers said as they lifted off, the plane was caught by a gust of wind causing the plane to be blown over into the tree line on the west side of the runway. 

Two passengers and the pilot were airlifted with serious injuries.

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Those two passengers are from Auburndale: 53-year-old Derrick H. Kelley and 49-year-old Danny A. Gilileo. The pilot, who was also airlifted, was from Panama City Beach.

Fortunately, the injuries reportedly do not appear to be life threatening.

Another passenger was on board from Lakeland, 60-year-old Tony Lewis. However he was not airlifted and only suffered minor injuries.

DEP was notified due to a 90 gallon aviation fuel spill and the FAA responded from Homestead.

The airport will be closed until this evening, but the plane is off the runway as emergency vehicles tend to the plane and fuel leak.