Plane crashes near Loxahatchee wildlife refuge

NTSB, FAA investigating cause of crash

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – A small plane crashed Monday afternoon near the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County.

The single-engine plane crashed in the marsh shortly before 1 p.m., about a half-mile west of U.S. Highway 441.

Its charred remains could be seen in the murky water near a dirt road.

Firefighters used a ladder truck to get across a levee and get to the plane to hose it down.

"All you could see was smoke and flames coming up," said Ron Bradshaw, who was fishing about a quarter of a mile from where the plane went down.

His cellphone video shows the smoke billowing up from the tall grass just on the other side of the levee. Bradshaw said he didn't see the actual impact, but he heard it.

Bradshaw said as he motored toward the fiery scene in his boat, he was mentally preparing to help the crash victims, but soon realized all he could do was call 911.

"There was nothing I could do," Bradshaw told Local 10 News. "I yelled a couple of times just to see if anybody could yell at me and they didn't, so I knew that was it and there was nothing I could do after that."

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Brennan said the plane departed from the Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana with two people on board.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said two bodies were pulled from the wreckage. Their identities were not immediately known.

The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are investigating the cause of the crash.

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