Maryland plane crash: No One Critically Hurt When Small Plane Hit Car.
Paul Will was driving toward Annapolis on Route 50 when a small plane slammed into the road in front of him, slicing through a car on its way down.
He stopped about 40 feet from the small plane and checked to see if everyone involved was all right before realizing a portion of the highway in Bowie was covered in fuel.
“I could see it on my feet and you could smell it. I was afraid (the plane) was going to explode,” Will said.
It did not, but four people were injured — two in a car and two in the plane — in the late morning crash.
Sgt. DaVaughn Parker, Maryland State Police spokesman, said troopers received multiple 911 calls shortly after 11 a.m. for a small plane crash on Route 50.
The pilot attempted to take off from Freeway Airport, just south of Route 50 in Bowie, and, for unknown reasons, landed in the highway’s eastbound lanes, hitting a vehicle, Parker said.
Two adults in the car, a grey Nissan Versa, were taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries, said Mike Yourishin, Prince George’s County Fire Department spokesman.
Two adults aboard the plane, a small white-and-red 1978 Mooney M20J, suffered minor injuries but declined treatment, Yourishin said. Emergency response officials initially reported all four injured were passengers in the car.
Police did not identify those aboard the plane or those injured in the car.
Route 50 remained open after the crash, but some lanes in both directions were blocked for about four hours as the wreckage was cleaned up.
The cause of the crash has not yet been determined, Parker said. The National Transportation Safety Board is handling the investigation.
Will said the crash happened about 100 feet in front of him.
“I see out of the right corner of my eye, an airplane coming toward the road,” the Pasadena resident said.
The left wing struck a car, slicing the roof partially off and shattering the windshield before the plane slammed into the jersey barrier that divides the highway, Will said.
The two people in the plane were able to kick their way out and walk to safety, Will said, while the driver of the car sat stunned in his seat before passersby helped him out.
“Every time you see a plane in the sky you wonder, ‘What if I witness that wrecking?’ or ’What are the chances of?’ and to see it happen in front of you … I haven’t gotten over it,” Will said. “I’m going to play the lottery today and I’m going to get a dashcam. I just can’t believe it, that nobody was seriously hurt.”
Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted about the crash: “We are relieved that there were no life-threatening injuries after a small plane crashed on Route 50 this morning. Our sincere thanks to the first responders who acted so quickly to help those involved.”
The crash comes as the Prince George’s County Council considers a bill that would allow townhomes and single-family detached dwellings to be built on the airport property. The airport is zoned as residential agriculture, with a density of one house per two acres of land.
The Rodenhauser family, who have owned and operated the single runway airport since 1947, brought up the risk of crashes, citing at least 10, during a public hearing on the bill Tuesday.
Catherine Harvey has been scared about crashes like this since she moved near Freeway Airport 12 years ago.
“This isn’t the first time,” she said as she watched the cleanup of the crash from the bridge by her home. “Whenever you see them taking off and landing, there’s a fear that something like this is going to happen.”
She said she heard about the crash when her husband called her and asked if she could hear the sirens from the emergency vehicles.
“He said ‘A plane crashed on Route 50,’ and I said, ‘Again?’”