2 dead after plane crashes into front yard in Bartow

Polk County

BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) – Two people are dead after an aircraft crashed into a front yard in Bartow Thursday, deputies say.

Residents in the quiet neighborhood are used to hearing planes fly by. They live less than a mile from the runway at Bartow Executive Airport.

But Thursday morning, they heard something very different.

“It sounded like it was way too loud. It wasn’t but just a split second just a big ‘boom,'” said Ray Roberts.

Eva Villarreal was watching the planes go by with her neighbor.

“Suddenly we just seen one that was just coming and I told my neighbor ‘look it, that one’s coming straight down. It’s coming straight down.’ When it went down, I just yelled. She went in here and got her phone and called 911,” said Villarreal.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Polk County Fire Rescue responded to the scene on Weston Road around 11 a.m.

“It impacted in the driveway, spun and ended up in the front yard,” said Scott Wilder, director of communications for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. “There are two people deceased and they were deceased at the scene when we arrived.”

Courtesy: Polk County sheriff’s Office

The two people who died were a married couple inside the plane. The sheriff’s office has identified them as 73-year-old Bonnie Powell and 76-year-old Dennis Powell of Port Orange, Florida.

No one on the ground was hurt.

“It is a very, very strange place for a crash. It’s right on a nice quiet residential street like this. There are probably more houses than there is space to crash land,” said Wilder.

The scene where it happened is close to Bartow Executive Airport. That is where the plane was headed, according to Wilder.

The people in the plane were in contact with the airport in Bartow and preliminary reports indicate they showed no signs of an emergency.

The aircraft that crashed was a Mooney M20J, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

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