April 2, 2016 – FALLBROOK – A small, private aircraft made an emergency landing onto northbound Interstate 15 in Fallbrook this morning, killing a woman and injuring five other individuals.
The crash occurred Sat., April 2, at approximately 9:15 a.m. on the freeway just north of State Route 76, forcing the California Highway Patrol to issue a Sig Alert due to heavy congestion throughout the area.
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According to North County Fire public information officer John Buchanan, the pilot of the plane attempted to make an emergency landing in the number four lane of the northbound side of the freeway, but struck a vehicle in the process. The downed plane ended up on the right side of the roadway, in the number three and four lanes of traffic.
“There was a passenger vehicle that had pulled over on the (east) shoulder of the freeway and the occupants were trying to sync a phone to a wireless device,” said Buchanan.
“The plane landed, hopped, and skipped before striking the rear, right side of the vehicle,” he said. “The impact caused the trunk area of the vehicle to be pushed up into the passenger area and killed the passenger riding in the rear, right-side passenger seat.” The fatally injured passenger is said to have been a woman in either her 20s or 30s.
Buchanan said in addition to the fatality, five people were injured in the incident.
The North County Fire Protection District transported five patients, three to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido and two to Sharp Memorial in Kearny Mesa. A woman who was a passenger in the right rear seat of the car was pronounced dead at the scene, spokesman John Buchanan said. She was 38 but has not yet been identified by name.
The driver of the car was identified as Aaron Meccann, 42, or Escondido. The front-seat passenger was identified as Jason Soule, 43, of San Diego.
The pilot of the Lancair IV, single-engine low-wing plane, 62-year old Dennis Hogge, was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries described as severe trauma to his head. The 50-year-old woman who was his passenger was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
Buchanan said it took emergency responders 20 to 30 minutes to extricate the female from the vehicle.
The incident brought a flood of 911 calls to CHP emergency communications dispatchers from motorists and witnesses who saw the aircraft emergency.
The plane was described as a small, white and blue jet. It appears to have been a Lanceair IV P, and the registration number currently shows it belongs to a man in Canby, Oregon
According to CHP officials, the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and officials are responding to the location to conduct an accident investigation. FAA officials have requested the plane not be moved from its current location on the freeway until their arrival.
As of 10:35 a.m., traffic on the southbound lanes of traffic was slow and heavy, as motorists slow to see the downed aircraft. The number one and two lanes of northbound traffic are moving slow, however, the number three and four lanes of traffic have been diverted and funneled down to just two lanes.