ARLINGTON, Texas (NBC/KXAS) — The pilot of a single-engine plane made an emergency landing on a highway ramp in Arlington, Texas, and it was all caught on camera.
It’s almost surreal.
“When you’re driving in a road, you don’t expect for a plane to be coming out of nowhere,” said driver Sean Short, who saw the incident unfold.
Short shot the video of the plane touching down in the grass median on Friday.
The landing gear reportedly clipped the ramp’s barrier wall, and the airplane crashed directly into the black pickup truck.
“It just opened up the side of my truck like a Coke can,” said driver Richard Dutton. “Trying to get onto 20 to get out West, my buddy yelled, ‘Look out!’ And I’m looking in my rearview mirror because no one was ahead of me. I’m thinking someone is trying to blow by me in the other lane, and I caught the plane coming in my peripheral. And I looked, and my knee-jerk reaction, of course, was to turn away from it. And as I turned, it looked like he tried to kick the plane out, and so we both went right. And the wing went over. I thought I’d cleared it. And then, the second wing went right in the windshield. It came through, broke off and went right down in front of my chest.”
Pictures show a piece of the plane impaled directly through his windshield.
Nearby, James Hawley heard all the commotion.
“I saw the tail of the banner falling between houses over here,” said Hawley. “[I] ran out from my house and picked it up because it was all over the place. This thing is a good 60- to 70 feet long.”
He dragged the giant Geico ad into his yard for safekeeping.
“It’s just something you don’t come home to every day,” said Hawley.
“The pilot’s OK,” said Christopher Cook, with the Arlington Police Department. “He’s in good spirits. He was up talking. He wishes he wouldn’t have hit anything. He was doing his best to try to get in the field.”
The driver of the truck credits his air bags for saving his life.
Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.