Plane in fatal Pinellas crash was damaged before

Plane in fatal Pinellas crash was damaged before

Posted: Updated:
A pilot was killed when his plane crashed onto McMullen Booth Road early Saturday morning. A pilot was killed when his plane crashed onto McMullen Booth Road early Saturday morning.
A pilot was killed when his plane crashed onto McMullen Booth Road early Saturday morning. A pilot was killed when his plane crashed onto McMullen Booth Road early Saturday morning.
Katherine Bronken (left) and Keyana Linbo. Facebook photo Katherine Bronken (left) and Keyana Linbo. Facebook photo
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The pilot of a small single-engine plane was killed, after his plane crashed in the median of a six lane road in North Pinellas County, early Saturday morning.

The 1980 Piper crashed around 4:00 a.m. on McMullen Booth Road just north of Union Street. Two girls were also injured and are in serious condition at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.

Pinellas County officials said the father Jeffrey Bronken, 53, his daughter Katherine, 15, and her friend Keyana Linbo, 15, took off from Chicago around 6:30 p.m. Friday evening. They were headed to St. Pete/Clearwater airport, which is about seven miles south of the crash scene.

The Bronkens and Keyana Linbo were from Round Lake, IL. The plane is registered to Glass Man Inc., a company out of Highland Park, IL. Investigators are trying to figure out what caused the plane to crash.

McMullen Booth Road is one of the busiest roads in north Pinellas County. Housing developments and businesses line much of the road. The crash scene was near the entrance of Cypress Trace North condos in Safety Harbor.

Officials closed a stretch of McMullen Booth Road between Union Street and Enterprise Road after the crash. PCSO officials said this part of the road will remain closed for a while, as the investigation is expected to extend through the afternoon. They advise drivers to stay away from the area.

Shortly after the crash, Duke Energy reported a power outage in the area, impacting more than 1,100 homeowners.

The NTSB, FAA and Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the crash.

Based on information from the National Transportation Safety Board, the 1980 Piper has been involved in an accident before.

In May 1997, the plane was damaged when it overshot an airport runaway near Grayslake, Ill., and ended up in a nearby canal, NTSB records show. The pilot at the time was attempting touch and go maneuvers when the plane over overran the airstrip.

The plane came to rest in a nose dive position and sustained substantial damage. No injuries were reported.

Jeffrey Bronken was not the pilot involved in the 1997 crash.

Stay with WFLA.com for more on this breaking news story.

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