Ocala man recovering after fatal plane crash

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB)-- A man from Ocala is in critical condition after a plane crash in Guatemala.

Bruce Van Fleet sustained serious injuries including 3rd degree burns to most of his body and is recovering at the parkland burn unit in Dallas, Texas.

After watching the video of the crash site, many people including one of the Van Fleet's closest friends, say it's a miracle that he is alive.

On June 26, Ocala resident Bruce Van Fleet was involved in a serious plane crash while traveling to Guatemala, to interview with the non-profit paradise bound ministries.

"Bruce and Jen are the kinds of people that are naturally just there for people,” said Brian Ernst, a friend of the Van Fleets.

Bruce, his wife Jen and their one-year-old son Levi are living in Ocala, as Bruce works with the aviation ministry I-TECH.

Van Fleet was applying to be the aviation coordinator for Paradise Bound Ministries- fulfilling his dream to use his passion for flying to serve others.

"Anybody who knows Bruce knows how passionate and how positive he is,” Ernst added.

Van Fleet sustained serious injuries including 3rd degree burns most of his body.

The other ministry pilot, Luke Sullivan died in the crash, leaving behind a wife, and three girls with another child on the way.

"For him to be in a plane crash, for him to be a coma right now in the ICU is really, yeah it's really challenging for all of the people who are friends with him,” Ernst said.

Van Fleet is recovering at the Parkland Burn Unit in Dallas, Texas.

For now, doctors are limiting visits.

Only Jen and Bruce's parents are able to see him at this time.

"What Jen's main focus is right now is to try to get Bruce back to Florida because that's where their support network is. They don't know anybody in Dallas,” Ernst said.

The latest update from the family is that bruce's condition remains the same, he is, however, able to open his eyes and offer small movements.

Go fund me page: https://www.gofundme.com/go-fund-me-for-bruce-van-fleet?fbclid=IwAR09OwFM6VqPmsLFdneI_4EXbR6qQxXUmoMBjHixx5B49lUPAGy8JUFd68Q

For continued updates: https://www.facebook.com/Bruce-Van-Fleet-Medical-Updates-2835309213162529/