One person has died and five others are injured after a small plane crashed into a car on a Southern California freeway, authorities said.
The single-engine, two-seat Lancair IV crashed into a car at approximately 9 a.m. Saturday morning on Interstate 15, about 50 miles north of San Diego, witnesses told dispatchers. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers and firefighters rushed to the location near Pala Road.
One person in the car was killed, and three others from the vehicle were taken to a hospital, California Highway Patrol Officer Tony Polizzi said. Two occupants in the plane also were transported for treatment.
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Jacob Duncan was heading to work when he noticed a plane that appeared to be having trouble stabilizing approaching the freeway.
“The plane touched down about 40 feet behind my car and it slid about another 40 feet,” Duncan recalled in an interview with NBC 7.
“One car was stopped on the shoulder,” he said. “It slammed right into the back of them.”
Duncan hopped out of his vehicle and with the help of other driver tried to assist the people inside the aircraft and the vehicle.
He said the pilot, a man, suffered injuries to his face but survived the crash. A woman in the airplane also survived.
Former major league catcher Matt Nokes told The Associated Press he once owned the plane and landed it on the same highway in February 2000.
"It was crazy," Nokes told The Associated Press on Saturday. "Everything worked out so beautifully. It was almost a humorous thing. Unfortunately, it doesn't always turn out that way."
Erika Uribe-Muñoz witnessed the crash and commented on NBC 7's Facebook page.
"We were on the opposite side of the freeway, we saw it as it was coming down to crash, pretty scary," she said.
Duncan said it was obvious the pilot didn’t have much control of the plane and was trying his best to avoid the vehicles on the road, adding that the crash might have been avoidable if the car hadn't been stopped on the freeway.
“It’s sad for everyone involved,” he said.
No other information was immediately available.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.