Blackstone Hamilton hugged his passenger after spinning out on the 405 Freeway on Friday, happy to be alive after his pickup truck was clipped by a small plane that crash landed on the highway.
The two were riding in Hamilton's blue Toyota Tacoma when he thought he'd been rear-ended. Hamilton struggled to regain control of the pickup as it spun out. He thought he'd been hit by a big rig, only to learn that a plane had struck him as the aircraft plummeted in a fiery wreck.
"I was just trying to regain control of my vehicle," Hamilton said. "At the end of that, I checked my passenger, made sure he was OK. We gave each other a hug that we were still alive. That's life, I guess."
He and his passenger were not injured.
According to early reports, Hamilton's pickup is the only vehicle to have been struck by the plane. Other drivers hit debris strewn across the freeway.
"The fact that a plane was able to land and only strike a single vehicle is extraordinary," Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz said.
The Cessna 310 went down around 9:30 a.m. just short of the runway at John Wayne Airport. The FAA says the pilot was attempting to return to the airport after declaring an emergency shortly after taking off. Two people — a man and a woman — were aboard the plane.
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Two people were hospitalized. The severity of their injuries was not immediately known.