MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Authorities have identified two people who were killed when their plane crashed in Marion County Sunday evening as they were filming a zombie movie.
Pilot Dennis Monroe and Joseph Sardinas were killed in the crash, which happened just after 7 p.m. off a rural dirt road on Southeast 140th Street in Summerfield.
"Honestly, I think that's pretty crazy. I've never seen anything like that happen around here," said neighbor Brandon Lea.
The passenger was filming the pilot of the small single-engine plane when people on the ground said they heard the engine stop and watched the plane
"Just, all of a sudden, we didn't hear anything and the plane dropped out of the sky," said neighbor Janet Crandall.
Crandall saw the tragic scene unfold from her backyard, where she'd been watching Monroe circling the property while a film crew shot the movie.
But suddenly, as they made what would be their last turn, something went wrong.
"Just, 'Oh, my gosh. The plane crashed,'" said Crandall.
Neighbors said Monroe built the plane years ago and would frequently take off from his property, where he ultimately died.
Channel 9 also found Monroe was the public works director for the city of Belleview.
Sardinas was listed as the cinematographer for "What Tomorrow Brings," the movie on which they were working.
Witnesses said the engine stalled, but investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board plan to investigate the wreckage hoping to pinpoint how everything happened.
Even though her neighbor died in that crash, Crandall knows it could've been much worse because dozens of film crew members were just below the plane.
"Because it could've come down where all those people were. It could've been very tragic," Crandall said.