Small plane makes emergency landing on Interstate north of San Diego
People driving along the interstate north of San Diego city were stopped by an unusual sight Tuesday: a small aircraft sitting on the center median after it was forced to make an emergency landing.
California Highway Patrol and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the small plane had attempted to touch down in a nearby field but was not able to make it, instead landing around noon on the south side of the freeway near Del Mar, located about 20 miles north of San Diego, according to local CBS affiliate KFMB.
Jose Ysea, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, told the local news outlet that the pilot and a person riding in the aircraft walked away unhurt, though two occupants of cars “clipped” as the plane landed were transported to the hospital for minor injuries.
KFMB reported that one vehicle, a white sedan, had its rear window shattered as a result of the plane’s impact, with an SUV left with a torn-off piece of the plane stuck in the back-end of the vehicle.
Another vehicle had the back window damaged in the landing, with the person in the car telling KFMB that items located in the rear of the car seemed like they had jet fuel on them following the incident.
Aerial footage and photos posted on social media showed the plane lying in the middle of the freeway as firetrucks and first responders gathered around it, forcing nearby vehicles to halt to a stop.
A small plane that took off from Montgomery-Gibbs Airport in San Diego made an emergency landing on Interstate 5 near Del Mar. The plane crashed into the center divide. No word on any injuries yet. pic.twitter.com/zgswLysVOF
— Malik Earnest (@MalikEarnest) August 24, 2021
Officials initially blocked all southbound lanes and part of the northbound side as a result of the emergency landing, though San Diego Fire-Rescue tweeted a few hours later that three of the southbound lanes had reopened.
FREEWAY CLOSURE: @SDFD in Unified Command with partner agencies have closed southbound I-5 at Via de la Valle due to a plane landing on freeway. Standby for updates. pic.twitter.com/olhnU4YiAt
— SDFD (@SDFD) August 24, 2021
Update: I-5 at Via De La Valle, three right SB lanes have reopened – SB HOV and two left lanes remain closed. The NB HOV lane also remains closed.
— Caltrans San Diego (@SDCaltrans) August 24, 2021
The exact cause of the emergency landing was not immediately clear.
The Hill has reached out to the FAA for additional information.
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