Subscribe for 33¢ / day
Plane

Emergency personnel respond Wednesday after a small aircraft made a landing on Interstate 55 near Lincoln. The aircraft struck one vehicle, but no injuries were reported.

LINCOLN — No serious injuries were reported after a small aircraft made an emergency landing and struck at least one vehicle Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 55 near Lincoln.

“We were traveling northbound on Interstate 55 after leaving Lincoln and saw this plane to our left near the cornfields,” said Ronald Childs, of Atlanta, a witness to the crash. “He was kind of low and then just started getting even lower and so we thought he might be a crop duster.”

But then, the plane ventured past the edge of a cornfield and onto the interstate, Childs said.

“He got really low, right above the cars and we saw his wheel hit the back of the car, knocking the window out,” he said. “We were still driving, but we couldn’t see him, but knew he wasn’t in the air anymore.”

The incident occurred about 2:40 p.m. The plane is a Cessna 182B with four seats and was registered to Kilo Aviation out of Lacon.

Childs was traveling with his wife, Grace. They stopped, turned around and returned to the crash scene. There, they saw the small yellow and black single-engine plane resting in the median with its wings still intact.

“He was out of the plane and he was fine,” said Childs, referring to the pilot. “The driver of the car had his son with him and they were both fine.

“But it was pretty intense.”

Police said William Farnsley, 51, of Austin, Ind., was attempting to land at Logan County Airport when for unknown reasons, the plane lost power and was forced to make the emergency landing in the southbound lanes of the interstate.

During the landing, the plane struck a passenger vehicle, causing minor damage to the automobile, driven by a 42-year-old O'Fallon man, who was traveling with his 9-year-old son, police said.

The pilot tried to land the plane in the southbound lane, but it traveled through the median and came to rest on the left shoulder of the northbound lanes, police said. The plane suffered damage to the landing gear and was towed from the scene, police said.

“It was an amazing thing to see,” said Bill Thomas, of Lincoln, who was also traveling north at the time of the crash. “It was surreal. It really took a minute to sink in to realize that you were witnessing something out of the ordinary.”

All lanes were reopened by 5:20 p.m. Police said the investigation into the crash was continuing.


Want to know the latest breaking news right when it happens?

Our Breaking News email is for you. Receive breaking news as soon as we publish it directly in your inbox.

Sign up now:   

I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.


Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow

0
0
2
0
0

Agriculture Reporter

Agriculture reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

Load comments