Clearwater plane crash into Florida mobile home park leaves three people dead

Clearwater, Florida – A devastating plane crash in Clearwater’s Bayside Estates resulted in the loss of three lives, including the pilot and two individuals on the ground, according to information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The incident occurred on Thursday at approximately 7:10 p.m. local time when a Beechcraft Bonanza V35B, a six-seat single-engine aircraft, crashed into a mobile home park on the city’s east side, causing a destructive fire that damaged several nearby homes. Clearwater Fire & Rescue Chief Scott Ehlers confirmed the tragic outcome during a news briefing, revealing that the victims included the pilot and two individuals within the mobile home.

The pilot, identified as Jemin Patel, a 54-year-old resident of Melbourne Beach, Florida, took off from Vero Beach earlier in the day and was the sole occupant of the aircraft. The two ground victims were identified as Clearwater resident Martha Parry, 86, and Mary Ellen Pender, 54, who was visiting the mobile home at the time.

Just prior to the crash, Patel reported “some trouble” to air traffic controllers at St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport, signaling an imminent issue with the aircraft. The conversation with the air tower ended when the plane, about three miles north of the runway, experienced an engine failure and disappeared from radar.

Chief Ehlers highlighted the rapid response of emergency crews, extinguishing the flames within half an hour of the crash. While the aircraft predominantly impacted one structure, at least two others suffered damage from the ensuing fire.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are actively investigating the incident, focusing on the reported engine failure and any contributing factors. The wreckage is expected to be removed as part of the ongoing investigation. The Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the causes of death for the victims.

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“Our thoughts are with the three victims and their families; this tragedy could have been even worse,” expressed Police Chief Eric Gandy. The investigation aims to uncover the circumstances leading to the crash and any contributing factors surrounding the reported engine failure.

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