Fallbrook | A small plane crashed on a Southern California freeway, slamming into a car stopped on the side of the road, killing a woman in the vehicle and injuring five others, including the pilot and his passenger, authorities said. Witnesses said the plane appeared to be having problems before it banked west and came down on the road, California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Parent said.
One man said he didn’t hear the plane’s engine as it flew overhead. The single-engine Lancair IV landed on its belly and skidded about 250 feet before striking the rear of a black Nissan Altima sedan that was stopped on the shoulder of the road yesterday. The driver of the car had pulled over to synchronize the Bluetooth device on his phone, Parent said.
The impact crumpled the back of the car, killing a 38-year-old San Diego woman in the back seat and injuring three others in the vehicle. The plane went completely into the trunk and pushed the rear bumper almost into the rear passenger seat, said John Buchanan, spokesman for the North County Fire Protection District.
Pilot Dennis Hogge, 62, and his passenger, who wasn’t immediately named, suffered major injuries, Parent said. The driver and his two passengers were expected to survive their injuries. The stretch of freeway is no stranger to unusual landings.
Parent said he’s aware of three other planes that have come down on that stretch of Interstate 15 about 50 miles north of San Diego. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. The crash blocked two lanes and caused major backups on the freeway that runs to Las Vegas.
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