Ochopee, FA Plane Crash In Everglades, Aug 1977


Ochopee, Fla. (AP) -- A twin-engine plane with 11 persons aboard crashed and burned Saturday in Florida Everglades leaving one dead and four injured.
The aircraft crashed in a remote area shortly after taking off from a small airport.
The pilot was killed and the copilot and three members of a skydiving club were hospitalized. Six other skydivers escaped serious injury.
Collier County Sheriff's Lt. Charls Marshall said investigators hadn't determined why the plane nosed into the swampy woodland. He said there were a number of witnesses, but all had viewed the crash from a distance.
Marshall identified the pilot as RAMON D'ELOSUA, 62, of Cape Coral, Fla.
One witness was Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Robert Sanders, who said the plane was about 250 feet off the ground when it suddenly nosed over and crashed about 2 1/2 miles from the Oasis Airport. The airport is in Ochopee, a small city about 28 miles east of Naples.
"Everything was new on the plane," said Sanders, who also is the son-in-law of the copilot, identified by a Naples Community Hospital spokesman as WILLIAM MITCHELL, 52, of Ochopee.
Spokesman Marvin Cecil said MITCHELL and three others were in satisfactory condition. He identified them as: JAMES GALE, 21, Homestead; JON DAY, 25, Miami; and RONALD BENDER, 28, Naples.
The six passengers treated and released were identified as: LAURA HENRY, 27, and MONTY LIBERT, 32, both of Miami; STEVE CAMP, 23, Hallendale; DAVID GOODACRE, 24, Naples; JIMMY A. EVERETT, 33, Hialeah, and DENNIS CLARK, 25, Miami Springs.

Panama City News Herald Florida 1977-08-21