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2 dead after small jet hits vehicle while landing on Florida interstate, officials say

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NAPLES, Fla. (WFLA/AP) — Two people were killed after a small jet carrying five people crashed on Interstate 75 in Florida and collided with a vehicle, according to officials.

The Bombardier Challenger 600 jet crashed around 3:15 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-75 near mile marker 107 at Pine Ridge Road in Collier County, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

WBBH in Fort Myers reported that three people on board survived.

The pilot reported a dual engine failure while on approach to the Naples airport, according to a spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board.

According to the FlightAware aircraft tracker, the plane was operated by Hop-a-Jet Worldwide Charter based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It took off from an airport at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, at about 1:02 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Naples at 3:12 p.m. After that, the aircraft was scheduled to fly to Fort Lauderdale. Hop-a-Jet did not immediately respond to an email and phone message seeking comment. A spokesperson for Ohio State University said the aircraft is not affiliated with the university, and they had no further information about it.

The plane is registered to a company out of Broward County, Florida, according to FAA registration data.

Video shows heavy smoke from the aircraft as cars were at a standstill.

Brianna Walker, 26, witnessed as the wing of the plane dragged the car in front of hers and slammed into the wall.

“It’s seconds that separated us from the car in front of us,” she said. “The wing pulverized this one car.”

Walker and her friend saw the plane moments before it hit the highway, allowing her friend to pull over before the crash.

“The plane was over our heads by inches,” she said. “It took a hard right and skid across the highway.”

Walker said an explosion of flames then burst from the plane with a loud boom. Pieces of the plane littered the highway.

“It feels unreal like a movie,” she said. “It was seconds between us dying.”

Fire crews and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said this part of the interstate is expected to be closed for at least 24 hours.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, with the NTSB leading the investigation.

No other details were immediately provided.



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