06.30.2017 | 9:35 AM | SANTA ANA – Two people were in hospitalized in critical condition, but expected to survive, after their Cessna 310 airplane crashed onto the I-405 freeway and exploded into flames.
Shortly before 9:35 AM, the pilot of the twin-engine Cessna declared an emergency, shouting “may day.”
Only minutes later the aircraft crashed onto the I-405 freeway, striking a vehicle before engulfing into flames.
An off-duty fire captain in traffic on the freeway saw the crash and stopped to render aid. He assisted in removing both the male pilot and female passenger, likely saving them from burning to death.
Numerous police, fire, and airport officials responded the scene, located only 1000 feet away from the airport’s main runway, to assist.
Both the pilot and passenger were transported to an area hospital in critical condition.
The driver and passenger in the vehicle the airplane struck suffered only minor injuries.
Reports indicate the pilot suffered an engine failure during take-off and was attempting an emergency landing when he crashed.
The freeway was backed up for more than 10 miles as a result of the crash which prompted an National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) response before the wreckage could be cleared.
Update: The pilot and passenger both survived, fully recovering from their injuries.