Banner plane crashes on University of Florida campus

Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:03:51 AM EST   Updated On: Oct 06 2013 05:07:36 PM EDT

Officials say it could have been deadly: a banner plane from Jacksonville crashes onto the University of Florida campus. The latest on the investigation...and we hear from witnesses who watched in fear as the plane went down.


Two people are hospitalized after a small plane crashed near tailgaters gathered for Saturday's Florida football game against Arkansas.

Police said the plane was carrying a banner around the campus when it suddenly lost power and the plane's propeller stopped.

WJXT-TV reports the pilots found an open area of Flavet Field to land in to make an emergency landing.

Officials on the ground cleared everyone out of the way when they noticed the plane was coming down.

"It just made a tremendous noise, something I won't forget for a while," said Joseph Giardina, who witnessed the incident. "I ran over there as fast as I could to see if I could help getting the crew out."

University of Florida Police Chief Linda Stump said the plane rolled on the ground and bounced into a tree-filled area south of the band shell. No injuries on the ground were reported.

"We noticed metal beams ripped apart. People were rushing to the scene to find out what happened," said Guillermo Pradieu.

Stump said both people aboard the plane were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

"I saw one of the pilots had already bailed from the plane by the time I made it over there," said Pradieu.

No additional injuries have been reported by police at this time.

According to WUFT News, the plane is registered to Beach Banners Inc. in Jacksonville.

No. 18 Florida played its first night game in the Swamp on Saturday in nearly two years.


PHOTOS: Small plane crashes on UF campus


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