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Both teenage girls in Safety Harbor plane crash still in hospital

A single-engine plane crashed onto the median of McMullen-Booth Road early Saturday morning, killing the pilot, a Chicago-area man who was bringing his teenage daughter and her friend to Clearwater. The two girls survived the crash and were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa for treatment.

JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times

A single-engine plane crashed onto the median of McMullen-Booth Road early Saturday morning, killing the pilot, a Chicago-area man who was bringing his teenage daughter and her friend to Clearwater. The two girls survived the crash and were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa for treatment.

The two teenage girls injured in a plane crash in Safety Harbor early Saturday morning remain in the hospital, where they were rushed with serious injuries after the accident.

Katherine Bronken and Keyana Linbo, both 15 and of Round Lake, Ill., were in a plane piloted by Katherine's father, Jeffrey Bronken, when it crashed into McMullen-Booth Road. The father died at the scene.

St. Joseph's Hospital declined Sunday afternoon to provide an update on the girls' conditions.

The small PA-28 airplane left a Chicago airport about 6:30 p.m. Friday night. The group planned to visit Clearwater, which they had done the previous year, too, stopping off at the beach and pier.

They landed in Nashville just after midnight, according to a text sent by one of the girls, and the plane crashed in Safety Harbor about 4 a.m.

Neighbors said it sounded like an exploding bomb. The plane had also clipped a pair of electrical towers, snapping a 2-inch-thick power line, and shut off electricity in the area.

It's uncertain why the plane crashed, or if the father was trying to land on the street. The Federal Aviation Administration said it received a radio call from the plane about possible fuel problems. Officials with both the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were leading the investigation.

Both teenage girls in Safety Harbor plane crash still in hospital 03/23/14 [Last modified: Sunday, March 23, 2014 10:01pm]
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