Hillsborough Men Injured in Crash of Single-Engine Plane
The NTSB and FAA are investigating the cause of the crash.
POLK COUNTY – A Valrico man and his grandson were injured Friday when the plane the grandfather was piloting crashed in unincorporated Polk County.
William Gonzalez Jr., 70, of Valrico,. was admitted overnight at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. His grandson, Joseph Berninghaus, 21, of Tampa, was treated and released. Neither had life-threatening injuries.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the two took off from Boca Raton in a Piper aircraft registered to Gonzalez, who was piloting the plane. They were headed to the Lakeland airport when the single-engine plane crashed about 1:35 p.m. in Lake Hancock, in the unincorporated area of Bartow. The nearest roadways are the 2000 block of U.S. 98 S, Farm Road, and Smith Lane.
Polk County patrol deputies, the sheriff’s office helicopter, and specialty units from the Agricultural Crimes Unit, including an airboat and a shallow water surface drive boat, responded along with Polk County Fire Rescue. Together they were able to reach the aircraft, and rescue the two men.
The Polk sheriff’s office notified the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Agency, which are investigating the crash.
Photos courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Polk Sheriff | Plane Crash | Tampabay News
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