HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A passenger inside of a pickup truck was killed by a rotor blade after a helicopter suffered “catastrophic” engine failure and crashed into a road in Palm River on Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
The crash occurred on 50th Street and Palm River Road at about 2:20 p.m.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said a piece of the helicopter’s rotor blades broke off and flew across the street, striking a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that was headed north on 50th Street near Palm River Road, killing a passenger.
The deceased has been identified as Deodat Persaud Gangapersaud, 73. The car was driven by his son, Ryan Persaud, 36.
The pilot of the plane was identified as Bryant Messick, 39, and the co-pilot as Joshua Wells, 22.
“These are two highly-trained pilots. From what we’re told, the helicopter had went in for service, they tested everything, made sure everything was functioning properly, conducted all of the checklists of their flight plan and were on their way back to Sarasota when, unfortunately [they] experienced that catastrophic engine failure,” said Chronister.
All roads in the surrounding area are now open.