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Punta Gorda, Florida Airplane Accident Sends Three People to the Hospital

A Punta Gorda, Florida airplane accident sent three people to this hospital on Saturday, news sources report. Information regarding the victims’ identities was not immediately available following the accident, though police say one person was the pilot of the plane and the two others were passengers. All of the victims were taken to nearby hospitals; the extent of their injuries is not publicly known. The Federal Aviation Administration is currently conducting an investigation to determine what factors led to the crash. It is unclear whether the victims will file for damages.

According to reports, the accident occurred around 11:00 Saturday morning at the Punta Gorda Airport in Charlotte County. The three victims were airborne in an “experimental aircraft” when the plane began to experience troubles with its fuel mechanisms. The pilot attempted to land the plane at the airport but missed the runway. The nose of the plane struck the ground and rolled over. Paramedics arrived at the airport and rushed the three victims in the crashed plane to the Charlotte Regional Hospital. Police called in the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the crash.

Florida law requires aircraft owners to take exceptionally good care of their vehicles and conduct regular equipment inspections; failure to do so makes the aircraft’s owner liable for any injuries and damages. State and Federal laws allow anyone injured in an aviation accident to file a legal claim if the accident was the result of negligence. It is unclear whether that was the case in this incident. Similarly, the makers of an aircraft can be held responsible if a manufacturing defect causes a crash.

In other news, two people were injured in a Loxahatchee accident on Friday, reports say. The victims were on an all-terrain vehicle when the driver crashed into a tree. Information regarding the victims’ identities or the extent of their injuries was not available following the accident. Both victims were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment. Police are currently conducting an investigation into the accident to determine whether they will cite the ATV’s driver.

According to reports, the accident occurred around 7:00 Friday evening near the intersection of Deer Run Boulevard and Buck Ridge Trail. One victim was driving the ATV and the other was a passenger when the vehicle struck a tree. Paramedics arrived on the scene and found both victims lying on the ground near the collision site. Paramedics loaded one victim into the Trauma Hawk helicopter and sent him to St. Mary’s Medical Center; they took the other victim to the Palms West Hospital via ambulance. An update on the conditions of the victims was not immediately available following the crash. It is unclear whether the victims were wearing helmets when the accident occurred.

ATV accidents were responsible for 590 fatalities and around 115,000 injuries in 2010 nationwide, records show. However, those numbers dropped to 327 fatalities and around 107,500 injuries in 2011. State laws require anyone under the age of 16 to wear a helmet when driving or riding on an ATV, though wearing a helmet is a good precaution for any ATV rider.

Sources: 3.13.13 Punta Gorda Airplane Crash.pdf, 3.13.13 Palm Beach ATV Collision.pdf, ATV Statistics.pdf.

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