Sunday, October 9, 2016

Incident occurred October 08, 2016 in Kendleton, Fort Bend County, Texas

The pilot of a plane that crashed in Fort Bend County on Saturday near Kendleton has been identified.

Javier Sifuente, 53, who was a flying a single-passenger plane, was standing next to the plane in a field when first responders arrived. He suffered minor injuries, said Department of Public Safety public information trooper Eric Burse.

He attempted to land his crop dusting plane in a field, but the plane landed upside down, Burse said.

At about 6:56 p.m., dispatchers received a call about the downed plane in a field near the 2600 block of Darst Road in Beasley, said Caitilin Espinosa, Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office public information officer.

"Sifuente survived and was able to walk away, which we are thankful for," Burse said.

The scene was secured until the Federal Aviation Administration arrived to investigate, he said.


A Victoria woman helped Fort Bend authorities locate a crashed plane Saturday in Fort Bend County.

Toni Gromer, 45, of Victoria was headed to the Austin area for dinner from Hitchcock in a private Cessna 182 Skylane plane with her boyfriend and two friends when a Houston area air traffic controller contacted them over the radio asking for help, she said Sunday.

The controller asked them if they could help locate a possible crashed plane in Fort Bend County just before 7 p.m. Saturday. Gromer and her friends found the plane in five to 10 minutes near Kendleton on the corner of a large field near a house, she said.

Gromer, a Strayer University student, was a passenger on the plane with two others. David Gonzalez, of Houston, was the pilot.

"At first we thought the plane just had crash landed in a field," Gromer said. "As we got lower and closer to the plane, we realized it was upside down."

The plane was white and looked as if it was intact, she said. Gromer and her friends think the plane may be a Cessna 172, she said.

"It's odd seeing a plane shape on a big open field," she said. "There was no fire or smoke."

Gromer and her friends circled around the plane for 15 minutes to help emergency responders find it, she said.

"It was definitely something that got your adrenaline up, looking for a plane and hoping you found something but not hoping it was on the ground and people were hurt," she said. "I just hope that it was able to help the emergency responders get there quicker and help get them aid faster."

The Fort Bend Sheriff's Office responded to the scene, but an official there said Sunday that only the public information officer could comment. The spokeswoman did not return calls for comment.


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