Pilot Rescued From Crashed Plane By Police Officers Before Train Hits
LOS ANGELES — A pilot who just made an emergency landing with his small plane on a railroad crossing was rescued by brave LAPD officers who pulled him from the wreckage, seconds before a passing train hit the plane. The debris flew in all directions after the collision.
A police officer requested Metrolink to cease all train activity, while another officer stood by the plane to keep the pilot conscious and alert. While the officers weren’t expecting any trains at that moment, apparently there still was a train approaching the railroad crossing with a speed of approximately 80 mph.
A few moments later the officers were suddenly alarmed by bells and flashing lights, signaling an oncoming train at full speed. A lot of adrenaline helped the brave officers to use all the training and experience they got to free the pilot just in time from the cockpit.
“Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!” a man yelled as the officers dragged the man away from the cockpit, just seconds before the Metrolink train smashed the plane.
“I think this guy needs to buy a lottery ticket ’cause he pretty much cheated death twice within 10 minutes,” Officer Robert Sherock told KNBC.
According to Dan Mortensen, a relative of the pilot and co-owner of the Cessna, he was the only person on board. He was identified as Mark Jenkins, a 70-year-old “very experienced” former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. He suffered some serious injuries to his face with broken bones and also broken ribs. He was taken to a hospital.
Mortensen said Jenkins probably performed the emergency landing on the tracks to prevent possible casualties on the ground, although he probably didn’t anticipate a train coming through at a speed of 80 mph, Mortensen added.
Train traffic was halted immediately after the incident and road traffic was detoured in the area northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the crash landing.
Head image: Reuters / YouTube
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