2 pilots killed in Florida highway plane crash ID'd; video shows 3 survivors escape from fire

ByMeredith Deliso ABCNews logo
Saturday, February 10, 2024
Video shows 3 survivors escape Florida plane crash fire
Two pilots killed in a small plane crash Friday on a highway near Naples, Florida have been identified. Three survivors escaped the fiery wreckage.

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- Two people are dead and three others were injured after a small plane crashed onto a Florida highway Friday afternoon after it reportedly experienced dual engine failure, authorities said.

The aircraft crashed onto Interstate 75 near Naples around 3:15 p.m. ET, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It collided with a vehicle, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Collier County Sheriff's Office said there have been two confirmed fatalities in the crash. They were identified by the sheriff's office on Saturday as pilot Edward Daniel Murphy, 50, of Oakland Park, Florida; and second-in-command Ian Frederick Hofmann, 65, of Pompano Beach, Florida.

In a statement to ABC News, Hofmann's family said they are "in shock and devastated" over his death.

"We know our father died a hero doing his best to save everyone he could on the plane," the family said.

Three people survived the crash -- a crew member and two passengers, the sheriff's office said. The three survivors were captured on video by a bystander as they were running away from the wreckage. They were transported to an area hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries, according to the sheriff's office.

Five people were on board the plane -- a Bombardier Challenger 600 jet -- according to the FAA, which is investigating the crash with the National Transportation Safety Board.

The flight originated at Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, Ohio, according to the NTSB.

"The preliminary information we have is that the pilot radioed that the airplane had a dual engine failure on approach into the Naples airport," the NTSB said in a statement on Friday.

An NTSB investigator arrived at the scene on Friday and more are expected on Saturday to document the scene and examine the aircraft.

A preliminary report on the crash is expected within 30 days, the NTSB said.

A large fire and a billowing cloud of black smoke could be seen at the location following the crash.

Joe Robinson told ABC News he was driving northbound on I-75 in Naples when he came upon the smoke.

"I quickly realized that it was a private jet on the southbound lane that was completely crashed, engulfed in flames," he said.

He said he also saw a damaged truck off the highway.

"Overall it was just a chaotic, intense scene," Robinson said.

ABC News' Sam Sweeney contributed to this report.