3 die when small plane crashes in woods near DeLand

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said three people died after a small plane crashed and caught fire Sunday afternoon in woods near DeLand.

The crash happened around 4 p.m. near State Road 44 and South Grand Avenue.

The Sheriff's Office said the plane involved was a Cessna 421.

Deputies said pilot Armand Girouard, 27, of DeLand, and his passengers, Ernendro Philippe, 32, of Kissimmee, and Shawna Carbonaro, 34, of DeLand, died in the crash.

Officials said it took deputies and bystanders 15 minutes to make their way through the thick woods to reach the plane.

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Nearby residents said they saw and heard the plane come down.

"All I heard was the backfiring of the motor, and usually, when it backfires on a motor, it will rev back up, and it never revved back up. It just stopped," witness Dennis Morton said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash

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