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Local News

Fredericksburg man one of four killed in Florida plane collision

todayMarch 9, 2023

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A Fredericksburg was one of four people killed Tuesday in a mid-air plane crash over Lake Hartridge, in Winter Haven, Florida. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday that 78-year old Louis C. DeFazio of Fredericksburg and Winter Haven, Florida.

The Sheriff’s Office said DeFazio was aboard the Piper J-3 Cub sea plane operating out of Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base in Winter Haven with Randall Elbert Crawford, 67, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Faith Irene Baker, 24, of Winter Haven, a pilot and flight instructor with Sunrise Aviation; and Zachary Jean Mace, 19, of Winter Haven, a student at Polk State College, were in a Cherokee Piper 161 fixed-wing plane operated by Sunrise Aviation out of Ormond Beach on behalf of Polk State College.

The crash between the two planes occurred just after 2 p.m. on March 7. As of Wednesday afternoon, both planes were still in the lake and were expected to be recovered sometime Wednesday by a contractor working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The NTSB along with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), through the Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention, will be investigating the cause and circumstances of the crash.


Written by: Michelle Layton

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