Husband of NASCAR official among 5 killed in FL plane crash

SANFORD, Fla. (CBS/AP) - A small plane trying to make an emergency landing crashed into two houses Tuesday, killing five people and starting fires that seriously burned three others in one of the homes, authorities said.

At least two victims were aboard the plane, which was registered to a Daytona Beach company linked to NASCAR's late chairman.

NASCAR said Dr. Bruce Kennedy, a Daytona Beach plastic surgeon and husband of NASCAR official Lesa France Kennedy, the president of International Speedway Corporation, and Michael Klemm, a pilot with NASCAR Aviation, were among the dead.

Authorities did not release the identities of the ohters killed.

Both of the homes that were hit were largely gutted by the flames, and smoke could be seen rising from the neighborhood where the plane went down around 8:40 a.m.

Matt Minnetto, a fire investigator with Sanford Fire Department, said two people aboard the plane were confirmed dead in the crash and the plane itself was scattered in several pieces. At least three people were injured in one of the homes, including two adults and a boy about 10 years old who had burns over 80 to 90 percent of his body, Minnetto said.

"They have shut down the entire neighborhood, and they are evacuating people in the area because there have been explosions since the plane hit the home," reports CBS affiliate WKMG.

The twin engine Cessna 310 was registered to Competitor Liaison Bureau Inc. of Daytona Beach, said Kathleen Bergen with the Federal Aviation Administration. Competitor Liaison is based in Daytona Beach and registered under the name of William C. France, the late chairman of NASCAR, online records from the Department of State Division of Corporations show. James C. France also is listed as an officer of the company.

A NASCAR official told the Orlando Sentinel that a driver was not on the plane.

The plane was traveling from Daytona Beach to Lakeland when the pilot declared smoke in the cockpit. The pilot was attempting to land at the Orlando Sanford International Airport when the plane crashed about a mile or two north of the airport, Bergen said.

Neighbors reported hearing a wooshing sound and the crash explosion as they were readying for their days.

"I've never seen so many flames, never in all my life," Marcela Rodriguez told the Orlando Sentinel. She was eating breakfast at a friend's home when the plane crashed two houses away.

Rodriguez said she ran out and was unable to see anyone because of the heat and flames.

Heather Stahley, who also lives in the neighborhood, told the Orlando Sentinel she was upstairs with her two children when she heard the "boom, boom, boom" of the crash.

"Then I saw the two homes engulfed in flames and black smoke," she said. "I just couldn't believe it was happening."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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