Federal authorities are launching an investigation into a tragic incident in Florida, where a private jet attempted an emergency landing on an interstate, resulting in a collision with a vehicle and claiming two lives. The crash, which occurred around 3:15 p.m. near Naples, caused a massive disruption to traffic as a plume of black smoke billowed into the sky.
The Bombardier Challenger 600 jet, carrying five individuals, crashed just north of Interstate 75, causing chaos along the route known as Alligator Alley. Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will conduct investigations, with the NTSB taking the lead. Initial reports indicate that the aircraft had departed from an airport at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, bound for Naples.
Eyewitness Brianna Walker described the harrowing scene, recounting how the wing of the plane dragged a car ahead of hers before colliding with a wall. She narrowly avoided being caught in the tragedy herself. According to Walker, the plane narrowly missed her vehicle before veering sharply across the highway, followed by a fiery explosion.
The pilot had reportedly declared an emergency, informing air traffic control that both engines had failed. Despite attempts to guide the aircraft to a runway, the pilot ultimately lost control, leading to the catastrophic crash.
While three individuals were rescued from the wreckage, authorities confirmed two fatalities. The identities of the deceased have not yet been disclosed. The aircraft, operated by Hop-a-Jet Worldwide Charter, was scheduled to return to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, later that day.
In response to the incident, Hop-a-Jet expressed concern for those involved and announced plans to dispatch a team to the crash site. Meanwhile, federal authorities have indicated that a preliminary report on the crash’s cause is expected within 30 days.