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Small plane crashes into car near Polk County church; 1 injured

Published Jun. 12, 2017

BARTOW — A single-engine plane crashed Sunday into a car in the parking lot of a church, leaving the pilot seriously injured.

According to Polk County Fire Rescue, the plane went down about noon outside Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Bartow, about 12 miles southeast of Lakeland. Photos of the scene show the aircraft on top of an overturned white SUV. The pilot, a man who authorities have not yet identified, was hospitalized with serious injuries.

The church pastor told firefighters he and his congregation were in the middle of a church service when they heard a loud bang. Someone went outside to check it out and saw the plane.

Two nurses who are members of the church, Priscilla Sykes and Queen Morris, rushed out to help the pilot until paramedics arrived to provide emergency medical care.