Pilot in small plane crash in western Broward County dies

James Townsend pronounced dead despite effort by Local 10 News engineer to help pilot

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PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - The pilot of a small plane that crashed in western Broward County last month has died, Local 10 News has learned.

James Townsend died at Broward Health Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Amy Erez said Wednesday.

LISTEN: Full 911 call made by passenger after small plane crashes

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the Piper PA-32 crashed about 12:45 p.m. Oct. 26, 16 miles west of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

Sky 10 was flying to another scene when pilot Clem Carfaro spotted the downed plane in the Everglades near U.S. Highway 27.

Townsend was trapped inside the cockpit. Sky 10 arrived before Broward Sheriff's Office firefighters got there.

Local 10 News engineer Juan Rodriguez happened to be on Sky 10 at the time, and the helicopter landed briefly so that Rodriguez could help the pilot.

Firefighters arrived a short time later and had to use the Jaws of Life to rescue Townsend, who was pinned under the debris. He was placed on a stretcher and flown to the hospital.

Rodriguez said Townsend was asking for water and complained about his leg.

Two Jacksonville attorneys, Robert Spohrer, 66, and Steven Browning, 55, were also on the plane. They were walking around the crash site, having suffered only minor injuries, and were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

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