One man is dead and an Ocala pilot has been in a medically induced coma for over a week after their plane crashed during a Guatemalan mission trip.
Bruce Van Fleet and Luke Sullivan were flying together on June 27 after a visit to Paradise Bound, a ministry in Guatemala. Van Fleet, who created Good Works Worldwide as a way to work with ministries and offer aid in disaster relief efforts, had been considering a move to the ministry where Sullivan had moved his family less than a month before.
Both men sustained serious injuries as a result of the plane crash and were rushed to the closest hospital. After sustaining burns across his entire body, 28-year-old Sullivan succumbed to his injuries just 24 hours after the crash.
According to a Go Fund Me page set up to benefit his family, Sullivan had moved to Guatemala to join the Paradise Bound ministry on June 1. The fund, which has raised over $100,000, will benefit Sullivan’s wife, Ashley, and his three young daughters.
Van Fleet’s injuries from the crash include brain swelling, facial fractures, a broken right leg, and third degree burns covering his body, according to his wife, Jen. He was moved to the Parkland Burn Unit in Dallas, Texas where he has been in a medically induced coma and intubated.
Van Fleet’s wife has been posting daily updates on her husband’s condition through a Facebook page.
“Today while I was in his room, [Bruce] opened his eyes while I was talking to him, lifted and moved his head to find me in the room, shook his head yes to answer me and also wiggled his toes when I asked him to. These are huge milestones in his recovery but he still has a very long road ahead,” wrote Van Fleet’s wife in a July 9 post on the page.
Just two weeks before Bruce’s plane accident, the Van Fleets celebrated their son Levi’s first birthday.
Hundreds have taken to social media to share their prayers and words of encouragement for the family, with the Bruce Van Fleet Medical Updates Facebook page already having garnered over 1,200 followers.
The family also provided contact details for those who are interested in writing a letter to Bruce so that he may read them upon waking up, according to a Facebook post from his wife. Letters can be mailed to
Parkland Memorial Hospital
ATTN: 6th Floor Rm #626
C/O Bruce Van Fleet
5200 Harry Hines Blvd
Dallas, TX 75235
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