Fiery plane crash on Miami’s Haulover Inlet Bridge leaves one dead and five injured

One person was confirmed dead on Saturday evening after a small plane crashed into Haulover Inlet Bridge in Miami in the afternoon, hitting an SUV and catching fire.

The single-engine Cessna 172 with three people on board lost engine power before slamming into the bridge and striking a vehicle with three passengers, according to the Federal Aviation Authority.

Miami-Dade Police said the head-on collision with the SUV caused the plane to flip and burst into flames.

Narciso Torres, 36-year-old Miami Air Traffic Controller, lost his life in the crash. Torres had worked as an air traffic controller at Miami International Airport since June 2015 and had been the local union representative. He had begun his career in May 2008 at Orlando International.

“This is a terrible tragedy that has sent shock waves throughout the National Air Traffic Controllers Association,” President Rich Santa said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to Narciso’s wife, Jennifer, his entire family, and the many fellow Union brothers and sisters that loved him so much and are now dealing with an unspeakable loss.”

The Miami Dade Police Department confirmed two other passengers in the plane were taken to local trauma hospitals. A mother and two children in the SUV also were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

NBC6 Miami video footage from the scene shows smoke rising from the plane’s wreckage in the middle of the roadway. The vehicle struck by the plane, a dark red or maroon SUV, appeared to have severe front-end damage. Miami Dade Fire Rescue responded, extinguished the flames and pulled two passengers out, but the third, Torres, already was dead.

Miami-Dade police issued a traffic alert to notify drivers that Collins Avenue would be closed between 96 and 163rd Street. “Expect heavy delays and seek alternative routes,” the police department sent out via social media to alert drivers in the area.

A beachgoer near the scene told the Sun Sentinel the plane nearly hit other vehicles and caught on fire on impact with the bridge. Nearby drivers tried to pull the pilot and passengers out of the flaming wreckage, he said.

According to the FAA, the aircraft departed from Fort Lauderdale International Airport with a planned destination of Key West International Airport. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.