ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Two planes crashed in St. Johns County on Sunday, sending two men to the hospital with serious injuries.
A woman tells Action News Jax that she was outside gardening when she heard a loud crash on Barrel Factory Road. She came to her front yard and found a plane down in a ditch.
Troopers say two men were on the Piper PA22 when it experienced engine trouble shortly after takeoff.
The pilot, Joseph Linebach, of Satsuma, was flown to the hospital with serious injuries. Passenger Thomas Linebach, of Satsuma, also had serious injuries, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
“Prayers go out to them," Justin Brunner said. "Very close call. Especially with them trees being right there and it didn’t get tangled up in the trees or power lines."
Brunner works the field next to where the plane went down. He said he had come out to see if he could help when he heard about the second plane crash.
FHP says a pilot was practicing emergency drills when he crashed in a field 10 miles away in Elkton. It happened 90 minutes after the first crash.
Troopers say the pilot and another man on the Cessna 172S weren't hurt.
Officials said the crashes were in the vicinity of a private airstrip and that the crashes happened about 10 miles from one another.
“Right here in this little farming town, two little small planes go down. It’s kind of odd,” Brunner said.
Cameras were rolling as a Federal Aviation Administration investigator surveyed the wreckage with the victims. They didn't want to talk about the crash.
The farmer says they grow potatoes in the field and sell them to Frito-Lay. He said they will now have to test the soil for any contamination.
The FAA is investigating what caused both planes to go down.
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