Southern California’s 405 freeway is the busiest freeway in the state — and the entire U.S. — but for one Cessna pilot, it appeared to be his best choice for a crash landing.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Cessna 310 was coming into a landing at John Wayne Airport in Orange County Friday morning when it angled steeply toward the freeway instead, hitting the southbound lanes in the same direction of traffic with such a hard impact that the small plane immediately burst into flames. The pilot had taken off moments before but was returning to the airport after calling in an emergency.
“We have a mayday! We have a mayday!” the male pilot frantically informed the control tower. “I’m trying to get a little altitude. I just lost my right engine.”
The two people aboard were airlifted to a hospital in unknown condition, according to NBC News.
Motorist Jose Quinteros captured the entire crash on his smartphone. Be warned, it’s pretty dramatic:
Incredibly, the plane only clipped one car on the busy freeway, injuring no one. The LA Times called that miraculous event "astonishing." Witnesses used social media to ask for prayers for those involved.
Retired NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens — a six-time Pro Bowl selection — witnessed the crash, according to the Orange County Register. He was on the way to the airport to pick up his son, who ended up being rerouted to the Burbank airport instead.
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