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405 Freeway: The site of twin-engine plane crash last month

The morning of Friday, June 30, was anything but ordinary for those traveling through Irvine on the 405 freeway. That was the day that the pilot of a twin-engine Cessa 310R with right engine failure crash-landed amidst traffic right on the congested 405.

Two Coto De Caza residents, the 62-year-old pilot and his 55-year-old wife, were the plane’s only passengers. The two had started their flight around 9:30 a.m. from John Wayne Airport. Shortly thereafter, the right engine went out. Although the pilot — who had just registered the plane two days prior under his limited-liability corporation — attempted to gain altitude so that he could return to the airport, gravity won.

It was then that a miracle occurred. As air traffic controllers frantically diverted commercial aircraft in the vicinity to another airport, the small plane crashed down onto one of the most heavily-traveled freeways in the country, injuring only the plane’s occupants. Both fractured vertebrae that had to be surgically repaired. They were listed in stable condition at a local hospital

Multiple cars were grazed by the aircraft during its emergency landing, yet motorists remained unscathed, despite the heavy traffic. According to the spokesperson for Caltrans, roughly 8,400 vehicles make their way south on the 405 each Friday morning from 8 to 9 a.m.

The spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said, “It’s too early to know what went wrong.” It will be months before investigators that rushed to the scene issue their final determination as to the cause of the plane crashing onto the freeway.

While this incident ended as favorably as possible for the scores of motorists passing through that stretch of freeway that fateful morning, many others suffer injuries or deaths on California roads. If you get injured in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligent actions, learn what your rights are for seeking compensation.

Source: The Orange County Register, “Family of pilot, passenger in 405 freeway plane crash thank those who helped, said parents are recovering,” Chris Haire, Alma Fausto, Jessica Kwong and Sean Emery, July 04, 2017

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