Villager Joseph Sardinas was killed Sunday night in an airplane crash in Summerfield.
Sardinas, who lived in the Hacienda Villas on Mendoza Boulevard near Spanish Springs, was filming a low-budget zombie movie at the time of the accident.
The small plane crashed at about 8 p.m. Sunday in the area of 1770 SE 140th Street in Summerfield, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation has been turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board. NTSB investigators will look at weather conditions, pilot experience and other factors to try to determine what went wrong. The investigation could take several months.
The plane’s wreckage has been taken to a secure location.
The pilot of the plane has been identified as Dennis W. Monroe, 65, of Summerfield. He was the public works director for the city of Belleview for more than two decades.
This was to be Sardinas’ second zombie-themed movie. His first zombie movie was titled, “What Tomorrow Brings.”
Sardinas, 70, was filming the pilot in the plane at the time of the crash.
Friends said Sardinas was an enthusiastic cinematographer and loved photography.
Sardinas served as president of the association of Hacienda Villas.
“He was my closest friend,” said Mitchell Sheinbaum of the Village of Santiago.
Sheinbaum and his wife Michelle had just returned from a trip to New Orleans with Sardinas and his wife, Paula Pendleton.
“It was a great trip,” Sheinbaum said. “But I guess it was a good way to say goodbye.”
He said his friend died “doing the thing he loved.”
Sardinas had a son and a daughter, as well as three grandchildren.
Keep checking back at www.villages-news.com for developing details on this breaking story.