BY CBSLA STAFF
A plane crashed into the backyard of a Hemet home Tuesday, severely burning the pilot, and neighbors in the area jumped into action to help douse flames caused by the crash.
The incident happened at about 9:40 a.m. in the area of Warren Road and Mustang Way.
Eugene Barron watched the plane crash into his neighbor’s backyard.
“I hear the noise, squeaking like a tire squeaking and stuff, squealing, and then boom,” Barron said. “Just like that, it was everything. Windows shattered, rocks come in the house.”
He and his neighbor then ran outside and used a garden hose to douse the engine, and according to Barron, they helped the pilot who was conscious and speaking, but on the ground.
“His whole body was on fire, just covered with flames,” Barron said.
A Riverside County Fire truck happened to be passing through the area at the time, and was able to get on the scene quickly and put out the flames before they could spread.
“The occupants were taken to safety and we are happy to report that there have been no additional injuries at this time,” Chief Eddie Sell, of the Hemet Fire Department, said.
Video from Sky 2 showed that most of the Beechcraft Model 77 was left a burned wreck. The plane apparently hit the home’s cement block wall in the crash.
Authorities told CBSLA that the pilot was the only person on board the plane. He was first driven to a nearby hospital, but was later flown to Arrowhead Regional’s Burn Center in critical condition.
“I just pray that he lives because he was a lot…covered in fire,” Barron said.
Barron said Tuesday’s crash was exactly what keeps him up at night. He’s hoping the airport changes its flight paths in the future, so crashes like these never happen again.
“I always had an issue where something is going to crash, the plane could. They fly low a lot and you can almost see the person inside the airplane,” Barron said.
Investigators from the FAA and the NTSB were on the scene to determine the cause of the crash.