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Mulberry plane crash victims lucky to be alive | News

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Mulberry plane crash victims lucky to be alive
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Mulberry, Florida - Rusty Herrington says it's nothing short of a miracle. That's after his son was injured after the single engine plane he was a passenger on burst into flames Saturday.

Rusty's son, 16-year-old Phillip Lee Herrington continues to recover at Tampa General Hospital.

The plane crashed along Highway 60 and Coronet Road in Mulberry around 11:30 a.m.

Phillip and the pilot, 71 year old, Robert Van Wagnen, of Fort Myers were able to get out of the wreckage. Phillip's father says his son had to yank his seatbelt out in order to get free. 

Polk County Fire Rescue officials put out the flames. Rusty says, "Phillip does have some burns on his arms and his legs, hands." They are a mix of first, second and third degree burns. He also says it's likely that his son will have to spend a lot of time recovering.

Read: Statement given by the family of Phillip Herrington (PDF)

Wagnen was taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital and was treated and released.   

Wagnen and Phillip were taking off from South Lakeland airport and were headed to Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg to grab some lunch when they crashed.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

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