UPDATES: Two pilots ejected, hurt before military jet crashes into Lake Worth neighborhood
Several local and national agencies are currently investigating a fiery crash involving a military jet that occurred earlier this morning in Lake Worth.
At around 10:53am this morning, authorities received several 9-1-1 calls regarding an aircraft crash in the 4000 block of Tejas Trail. Lake Worth police and fire units quickly responded to the scene and observed heavy smoke in the area.
The two pilots were ejected from the jet, One of them was located in front of the Ole Donut store at 7000 Lake Worth Blvd after their parachute got tangled in power lines. The second pilot was found in the neighborhood not far from the crash site. A CareFlite helicopter airlifted one of the pilots to Parkland Hospital for burns and injuries sustained in the crash. Their conditions have not been released, but first responders initially triaged one pilot as critical/life-threatening and the other as serious.
The Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) has identified the plane as a Navy T-45C Goshawk jet trainer aircraft assigned to the Training Air Wing 2 at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. They also say the student naval aviator was hurt worse than the instructor pilot. The pilots were conducting a routine training flight that originated in Corpus Christi. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.
A total of three homes were damaged by debris from the downed plane. The jet itself landed in the backyard of a residence and did not impact any of the homes. Fortunately, no one was injured in the homes or on the ground. Red Cross is assisting displaced residents.
MedStar EMS, Lockheed Martin FD, Saginaw FD, NAS JRB FD, Forth Worth FD, Fort Worth PD, Tarrant County constables, Tarrant County emergency management, and others all responded to the scene.
The crash scene is located within a “potential crash zone” as identified as the military. Lake Worth FD trains for emergencies like this one.
Lake Worth PD is asking residents who may have located damage or debris to call their non-emergency line at 817-237-1224.
The investigation will be extensive and may take place through tomorrow, officials say.
Additional updates will be provided below.