In Bartow this past Sunday, the 300-plus congregation of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church were in the middle of their normal worship ceremony when a loud crashing noise coming from their parking lot. While the service continued, one of the church members left the sanctuary in order to determine what exactly caused the disturbance. Their search ended quickly and strongly when they saw a small plane crashed into the church’s parking lot.
Rushing back inside, the congregant informed the parishioners as to what had occurred. The service ended early and several of the church members, including registered nurses and a group from the church’s special medical ministry team, ran to the crashed plane to assist the pilot. The quick thinking of these people may have prevented the airplane’s pilot from dying at the scene, as they cared for them until the rescue crews from Polk County Fire Rescue swept in and took over.
The pilot, who has yet to be named, was removed from Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church’s parking lot and taken to the barrow Municipal Airport. From there, they were placed in a helicopter and flown to Lakeland Regional Health.
In the crash, the plane also struck a utility pole and several cars that were parked in the church’s lot at the time. Pictures of the crash show the mangled plane resting on top of an overturned white SUV. Nobody was inside the SUV at the time of the crash, and it is not currently believed that any individuals other than the pilot were injured in this incident.
This accident is still very much under investigation as authorities try to ascertain just where the plane was coming from, where it was going to, and what happened that caused to it come down in such a dramatic fashion. As a part of the investigation, authorities will look into whether or not alcohol or drugs played a role in the premature landing of the aircraft. At the time of this writing, the condition of the plane’s pilot is not known nor if he has been stable enough to respond to questions about the moments before the crash.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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