Two aircraft crashed Wednesday after colliding mid-air not far from a private airstrip south of Green Cove Springs, killing one pilot and injuring a second, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
WJCT News partner News4Jax reported Sgt. Dylan Bryan said one of the pilots died and the second was seriously injured when both crashed near the Clay County Fairgrounds.
Troopers said one plane that was taking off from Haller Airpark off U.S. 17 when it came in hit the second plane that was operating in the area. One crashed in an open field and that pilot, David Dollarhide of Green Cove Springs, was hospitalized.
The second plane crashed into trees not far away. That pilot, 72-year-old Robert Woolley, also of Green Cove Springs, was killed.
Both crashes were within a mile of the Clay County Fairgrounds.
"Dollarhide has been transported to Orange Park Medical Center where he has non-life-threatening injuries and he’s surrounded by his family," Bryan said.
The FHP said Dollarhide called someone on the ground to say he'd collided with another plane and crash landed. It took authorities some time to find the second crash scene.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, St. Johns County Sheriff's Office and Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted in searching for the aircraft.
An expanded version of this story is at News4Jax.com.