A bizarre and tragic airplane-car accident south of Los Angeles appears to have been caused by mechanical failure in the plane, the California Highway Patrol believes. One person inside the car was killed, while the pilot sustained life-threatening injuries.
As KNSD-TV reports, the car was travelling on Interstate 15 when the driver pulled over to sync his Bluetooth device. Suddenly, the airplane, a single-engine plane, crashed onto the freeway about 250 feet away. The plane slid toward the stopped car until it crashed into the car’s rear, totally crumpling the car’s back half.
There were three passengers in the car at the moment of impact. A woman sitting in the back was killed, and the other two passengers were taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries. The driver suffered cuts over his eye.
Both people inside the plane survived, but the pilot suffered a life-threatening head injury. His passenger was also injured, though her life was reportedly not in danger.
The plane never deployed its landing gear, and a witness said there was no engine noise before the crash, CHP said. This suggests that the pilot was experiencing serious mechanical problems that caused the crash landing and subsequent wreck with the parked car.
It remains to be seen how the pilot lost control of the plane, and why the plane experienced such profound mechanical failure, if that is indeed what happened. If this tragedy was caused by someone’s failure to take reasonable measures to ensure the plane was in proper condition before allowing it to take off, that party could be held responsible for the victims’ injuries.
Alternatively, it is possible that an important piece of equipment on the plane was somehow defective, which would make the manufacturer potentially liable.