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Widow of pilot killed in Lantana airport crash: 'I would do anything to get him back'

Baby of John and Lindi Holland due in 6 weeks
Posted at 10:53 PM, Mar 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-06 23:51:34-05

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Lindi Holland is sharing the story of her husband, the pilot killed in a small plane crash at Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana.

"He said, 'Hey baby, on the final leg of the trip and I love you, to the moon,' and I told him I loved him more," Lindi Holland said Monday about her 43-year-old husband, John Holland. "There's so many thoughts going through my head. We're expecting our first child in six weeks. Never thought I'd be in this position. He was so excited to be a dad."

Holland and another man were killed Sunday night when the plane crashed in a field at the Lantana airport, authorities said.

Lindi said her husband was a flight instructor and was picking up a plane from Kentucky.

Chopper 5 view of small plane crash at Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana, March 6, 2023
A view from Chopper 5 shows the wreckage from a small plane crash that killed two people at Palm Beach County Park Airport, March 6, 2023, in Lantana, Fla.

"Being 33 weeks pregnant, I didn't really want him to go, but he loved flying and we needed the money," Lindi said.

She said she was tracking his flight, and John called her during several stops, but lost contact with him once he got to the Lake Worth area.

That's when she said a Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy showed up at her door in Lake Worth Beach to tell her John had died in a plane crash.

"I collapsed to the floor. It's not anything anyone wants to hear. Everyone is just devastated. I keep thinking he's going to walk through the door," Lindi said. "All I have is our child and it's the only thing keeping me going."

RELATED: Residents complain about air traffic at Lantana airport following deadly plane crash

The couple had just gotten married two weeks ago at the Delray Beach courthouse and were planning to have a wedding ceremony after their baby was born.

"We just recently had our maternity photos taken, which was one of the happiest days of our lives," Lindi said. "You brought up the best in me. I have never been happier with anybody. I would do anything to get him back."

Tearful Lindi Holland remembers pilot husband killed in Lantana airport crash, March 6, 2023
A tearful Lindi Holland remembers her pilot husband, John Holland, a father-to-be who was killed in a small plane crash at Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana.

She said John was an Army veteran who grew up in West Palm Beach.

John was piloting a Diamond plane, which he had 700-plus hours of experience, Lindi said.

RELATED: Lantana airport linked to several crashes in last decade

He was a big adventure guy with dreams of becoming a commercial pilot, she said.

"I'm sorry that you didn't get to see your daughter and I love you more than anything and I will take care of our daughter and our dogs and your parents for the rest of my life," Lindi said.

Lindi will be meeting with family at a funeral home Tuesday but plans to have military honors for John during the service.

The family has also created a GoFundMe page to help Lindi and her baby with future expenses.