Husband and wife killed in Auburndale plane crash, police say

Polk County

AUBURNDALE, Fla. (WFLA) — A husband and wife were killed Friday afternoon when their plane crashed into a Polk County lake, the Auburndale Police Department said.

John William Schmalz III, 70, and Lynann Elaine Kurr, 62, of Winter Haven were killed after their plane crashed into Lake Arietta Friday around 12:25 p.m.

Dennis Jackson, who was working on his pool deck nearby, previously told 8 On Your Side he heard the plane in distress moments before it splashed down.

“I was thinking, I hope that plane pulls up pretty soon because if it isn’t, it’s going to probably be in my living room,” he said.

That’s when Jackson saw the plane, a Lake LA-250 Renegade, crash straight down into the water and explode into flames.

In a press release, the Auburndale Police Department said, “We want to express our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and also would like to acknowledge our partners at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Auburndale Fire Department for their significant assistance in this investigation.”

Authorities said the investigation is ongoing at this time. The NTSB will investigate the cause of the crash.

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