Firefighters Respond to Plane Crash in Clearwater, Florida

On Saturday, January 17, 2004, at around 2:30 P.M., two planes collided in mid air over the Long Center Recreation Complex which is located in the 1500 block of north Belcher Rd in Clearwater.


CLEARWATER, FL -- You know how in the movies when someone is standing on the ground and the aircraft just drops from the sky? Well, that became a reality in Clearwater on Saturday, January 17, 2004. Around 2:30 P.M., two planes, one being a Piper Comanche and one being a Cessna 150, collided in mid air over the Long Center Recreation Complex which is located in the 1500 block of north Belcher Rd in Clearwater. FAA Officials were en route to the scene Saturday afternoon.

A witness stated that the planes touched wings like and acrobatic show with the Comanche continuing on to Clearwater Executive Airpark and the Cessna nose diving into the ground, narrowly missing a large playground with children in it, killing the pilot, 79 year old Bela Toth. The passengers in the other plane were treated on the ground by Clearwater Fire Rescue crews and released.

The recreation center which was hosting a large swim meet along with a Special Olympics basketball tournament which means there were a lot of people that were very lucky.

This is the second fatal plane crash in the area located around the Clearwater Executive Airpark. In August 2003, a plane crashed in a neighborhood north of the airpark killing two and critically injuring another.

Nobody on the ground was injured at Saturday