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Pilot of Light Plane Makes Emergency Landing on I-5 Near Del Mar


Last updated 8/24/2021 at 3:51pm

SAN DIEGO - An apparently disabled light plane landed today on Interstate 5 near the Del Mar Fairgrounds, striking several vehicles on the

freeway, injuring two people and forcing a closure of a stretch of the heavily traveled freeway.

The pilot of the single-engine Piper PA-32 brought it down on the southbound side of the freeway south of Via de la Valle in the North City area

shortly after noon, according to the California Highway Patrol and Federal Aviation Administration.

The aircraft ``clipped'' several vehicles before rolling to a stop against a center-divider wall, said Jose Ysea, a spokesman for the San Diego

Fire-Rescue Department. Two occupants of the damaged cars were taken to a hospital for treatment of apparently minor injuries, including superficial cuts from shattered glass.

The pilot and a person who had been riding in the Piper walked away from the crash, apparently unhurt, Ysea said.

Video images from the scene showed that one of the vehicles struck by the plane, a white sedan, sustained a shattered rear window in the impact, and

another, an SUV, was left with a torn-off piece of the aircraft protruding from its back end. The crash-landing left most of the right wing of the airplane

sheared off.

All southbound lanes of the freeway in the area and part of the northbound side remained blocked off into the mid-afternoon due to the

emergency. The closures were expected to last into late-afternoon rush hour, Caltrans advised.

It was not immediately clear what forced the emergency landing just east of Del Mar city limits.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.


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