Fort Lauderdale

Victims Identified in Deadly Plane Crash Near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport

The four victims who died in a plane crash near the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport last weekend have been identified.

They are John Patrick Van Ommeren, 52, Monique Van Ommeren, 50, Sacha Van Ommeren, 15, and Sharissa Van Ommeren, 13.

All four were residents of Paramaribo, Suriname.

Dental records and DNA testing were used to confirm the identification of the victims.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Piper PA-31 aircraft had taken off from Orlando Executive Airport and was attempting to land at the airport in the 2200 block of West Cypress Creek Road around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, when it experienced problems. It was unclear what kind of problems the pilot had.

Witnesses saw the plane coming in for a landing and said they knew something was wrong.

"It sounded low, it looked low," Bobby Bemis said. "It nosedived right into the floor. It sounded like a semi truck hit a wall, it was so loud."

"It was a large aftermath and loud explosion, a big fireball," Bavon Sylvain said. "From what we saw, with the fireball, you could tell immediately that whoever was on that plane unfortunately passed away."

Fort Lauderdale Police confirmed that the four people on-board died in the crash.

Rescue crews responding to the scene said the plane crashed in a wooded area, and responders had difficulty arriving to the scene.

The FAA released a statement, saying in part, "A Piper PA-31 aircraft that was inbound to Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport crashed into a nature preserve near the airport at 4:30 pm after declaring an emergency. Four persons were on board."

The NTSB is investigating the crash.

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