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  1. #1
    OffDuty's Avatar
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    5 Killed When BMW Flies Off Elevated Airstrip, Hits Top Of Tree

    This is just natural selection.. Click the link for wreck foto. How you can tell that was a BMW I have no idea..

    5 Killed When BMW Flies Off Elevated Airstrip, Hits Top Of Tree

    Car Split In Half On Impact

    POSTED: 9:52 am EST January 26, 2008
    UPDATED: 6:26 pm EST January 27, 2008

    Troopers identified the victims as James Hime, 19, Jacob Casey, 19, Joshua Ammirato, 18, Isaac Rubin, 20 and Dustin Dawe, 19.Police said the victims were friends and had just left a party before the crash.Neighbors in the 1400 block of Northeast 95th Street said that they were awakened by a bang that shook their house.FHP officials investigating the crash said there were skid marks at the end of the runway.Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

    ANTHONY - To the first emergency responders, the horrific scene they found next to a private airport near Ocala might have first looked like a plane crash.

    It wasn't.

    A speeding BMW had gone sailing off the end of a runway at the exclusive Jumbolair Aviation Estates early Saturday, sailing about 200feet through the air before slamming into an oak, slicing the car in two.

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    "Portions of the vehicle were actually embedded into the oak tree," Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Mike Burroughs said. "They were airborne the entire time."

    Three of the five young occupants of the 2008 luxury car were thrown from the car, and all were pronounced dead at the scene.

    Investigators worked late into the day trying to get to the bottom of what happened in this small, rural town north of Ocala.

    The wreck was just as baffling to the group of dazed relatives and friends who made their way to the scene.

    "I'm shocked that he was here," said James Wesley Hime, whose 19-year-old son, James Devon Hime, was among the dead. When he first arrived at the scene, the father leaned against a wooden fence, choking back tears, his voice catching. He said the young man's mother and two brothers were too distraught to come.

    Kelley Wilson, Isaac Rubin's mother, remembered talking with her son Friday night about 7:30. He had been struggling to keep his focus since his father's death a few years ago, she said, but he recently decided to become a paramedic.

    "He was just getting his life on track," she said. "It felt like he was finally growing up. It was the first time he was excited about anything in a really long time."

    No evidence of racing

    Captain Joel Matthias, a spokesman for Marion County Fire Rescue, said that it appeared that the five men were driving on Jumbolair's 1-mile-long airstrip about 3:30a.m. Saturday.

    The BMW reached the end of the airstrip, but for some reason the driver didn't stop. Investigators wouldn't say how fast they think the car was traveling when it hit a sloping mound of dirt at the end of the runway, which is atop a hill.

    But instead of dropping 80feet to the ground below, the car became airborne and soared for about 200feet before hitting the oak tree about 15feet above the ground.

    FHP's Burroughs said the driver appeared to be 18-year-old Joshua D. Ammirato of Fairfield. Others killed in the crash, according to the FHP, were Hime, who lived in Anthony; Rubin, 20, of Ocala; Jacob J. Casey, 19, of Ocala; and Dustin J. Dawe, who turned 19 on Friday, of Fairfield.

    The car was registered to Santo G. Ammirato, who was not one of the vehicle's occupants.

    Burroughs said there was talk that the BMW may have been racing another car, but the FHP had no evidence showing that.

    "We have no knowledge at this time that there was another car involved," he said.

    Jumbolair is a gated community whose best-known resident, actor John Travolta, keeps a Boeing 707 jet on his property. Residents live adjacent to the runway and can taxi their planes up to their homes.

    The community's Web site claims that its 7,550-foot-long airstrip is the largest private residential runway in the United States. Burroughs, however, said it did not appear that any of the victims lived in Jumbolair.

    Drawn to the scene

    It was unclear Saturday how the victims were able to drive onto the runway. But Burroughs said nearby residents reported there is an ungated back exit from the runway to Jumbolair. The airfield's owners could not be reached for comment.

    Burroughs said there were no empty cans or bottles or other evidence at the scene to suggest the victims had been drinking alcohol, although he said toxicology tests would take several weeks to complete.

    "The local residents did say that it was uncommon for drag racing or any event like that to take place on the airstrip," he said. "We do not have any idea what they were doing out there."

    Neither did the others who were drawn to the scene where friends died.

    Chris Stewart, 17, said he was close to Ammirato, Hime and Dawe, who was known to his friends as "Smiley."

    After football games, they would linger at the field for a little while with friends from North Marion High School, then head out for wings.

    "I wanted to see how this happened to them. I don't understand why it happened," Stewart said. "They were my boys."

    Stewart was among the group that was allowed onto the crash scene after the medical examiner left.

    As dusk approached, they walked past the scarred oak tree, around the bits of car that remained on the ground and up the hill to the runway's edge, saying little.

    They stayed for a while, then turned and walked back down the hill, got in their cars and drove away.

    Helen Eckinger can be reached at heckinger@orlandosentinel.com or 352-742-5934. Adrian G. Uribarri can be reached at 352-742-5926 or auribarri@orlandosentinel.com.
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  2. #2
    narcodog is offline Rookie
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    Damn, that takes the cake a flying BMW. What a tragedy.

  3. #3
    Growler's Avatar
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    Holy crap. has there been any specualtion as to why?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Growler View Post
    Holy crap. has there been any specualtion as to why?
    The BMW didn't have enough lift to clear the tree
    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

  5. #5
    k-9max's Avatar
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    Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
    Eat it, Play with it, or piss on it, and walk away!

    As smart as man is, we haven't been able to invent a machine that can smell drugs or tell us where a person has walked, Dogs are sophisticated investigative tools!

  6. #6
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopherpuckfan View Post
    The BMW didn't have enough lift to clear the tree
    lol - Another case of forgetting to put their flaps down?

    I think the word "Party" kinda gives away the cause.

    My only question is, who has jurisdiction, the State Police or the NTSB? It's either a car that left the roadway, or a failed experimental aircraft, depending on how you look at it

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Growler View Post
    Holy crap. has there been any specualtion as to why?

    5 kids + BMW + Runway = Because they could.
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  8. #8
    10-42Adam's Avatar
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    Crazy. I wonder if the driver just didn't realize he was running out of runway. If so, it was obviously a fatal mistake...
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  9. #9
    ex401mp's Avatar
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    John Travolta lives there. Maybe it was some scientologist plot? He and Tom Cruise probably wanted a new way to deal with the so called "SP"s".
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  10. #10
    Star Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-42Adam View Post
    Crazy. I wonder if the driver just didn't realize he was running out of runway. If so, it was obviously a fatal mistake...

    Here's another link with some video of the crash site, just click the link in the story page:




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