Pilot, motorist walk away after plane crashes on roadway

Tuesday , September 12, 2017 - 2:34 PM

By RICK BOWMER and MICHELLE L. PRICE Associated Press

ROY, Utah (AP) — A small plane struck a car and burst into flames when it made an emergency landing on a busy northern Utah roadway Tuesday afternoon but authorities said both the pilot and driver did not appear to have major injuries.

The single-engine plane took off from the Ogden-Hinckley Airport in the northern Utah city of Roy, 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City but soon after made an emergency landing on the five-lane State Route 126, a major artery in the area, and hit a car, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer.

Roy Police Sgt. Matthew Gwynn said the pilot, a 63-year-old man, and the driver, a 42-year-old woman, were both walking around and talking to emergency responders after the crash. Both people were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Authorities did not have more details about the pilot or driver’s identity, where the plane was headed or the pilot’s licensing status.

Kenitzer said the FAA is still investigating why the pilot of the Beech A24 Sierra aircraft crashed shortly after leaving the Ogden-Hinckley Airport.

Tuesday’s crash was less than a mile from the scene of a similar crash in July, when a small plane crashed on another highway, narrowly missing cars but killing two vacationing couples on board the aircraft.

That plane went down shortly after taking off from the same airport, popular with private pilots.

Ogden-Hinckley Airport manager Jon Greiner said the two crashes onto nearby highways seven weeks apart were “just coincidence.” He said there’s plenty of space on the runway and surrounding the airport.

Greiner said he doesn’t know the pilot or what caused Tuesday’s crash but said he believed the aircraft was not flown frequently and may have been sitting on the tarmac for several years.

After emergency responders extinguished flames on the burning plane Tuesday, plane’s charred wings, propeller and burnt-out fuselage sat in the middle of the street, a short distance away from the car that the aircraft struck. The car’s rear bumper was hanging off on the ground and the roof was heavily damaged.

Price reported from Salt Lake City.

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