By SDCN Editor
Del Mar, CA–A single-engine aircraft Tuesday afternoon made an emergency landing on the southbound Interstate 5 freeway near Del Mar clipping four vehicles in those lanes before resting on the center divider, authorities said.
Authorities received reports shortly after noon of the downed Piper PA-32 plane on the I-5 near Via de la Valle.
The aircraft’s pilot and passenger were not injured in the crash. One of the plane’s wings slammed into an Audi SUV breaking the vehicle’s back window. The broken wing became lodged in the vehicle. A Kia sedan also suffered damage in the collision. Two people in those vehicles suffered minor injuries and were taken to local area hospitals, according to California Highway Patrol and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The plane departed from Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport before experiencing mechanical problems with the engine near La Jolla. The pilot reportedly attempted to land the plane at a nearby field but was unable, according to authorities. The pilot made the decision to land on the busy I-5 freeway.
The freeway lanes were shut down for several hours creating a traffic backup that expanded for several miles. Motorists were detoured to alternative roads which were also backed up.
San Diego Fire Department Hazmat crews were called to the scene to clean up the plane’s jet fuel that spilled on the road.
Crews lifted the plane onto a tow truck and transported it to Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport. The NTSB and FAA plan to investigate the incident this week.