3 injured after emergency landing of small plane on I-355 | WGN 720 radio
NEW LENOX, Illinois – Illinois State Police said a small plane made an emergency landing on the southbound lanes of the Veterans Memorial toll freeway, injuring three people.
Dashcam video of a driver heading north on Interstate-355 captured the aircraft as it neared the ground, eventually stopping near Highway 6.
The plane, a 1975 White Beech B24R fixed-wing aircraft, was in the air for about five minutes after leaving Lewis University Airport before landing around 11 a.m. Thursday, according to data from FlightAware.
Four people were on board.
The pilot, identified as Jason M. Bufton, 39, of Wilmington, said he made the landing due to an engine stalled, Illinois State Police said. Bufton, who suffered non-life threatening injuries, said the group was flying to Indianapolis for lunch.
The ISP identified the passengers as Kirstyn McKim, 21, Paige M. Bufton, 20, and a 15-year-old girl, all from Wilmington. Ambulances transported all three to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.
Michelle McKim, Kirstyn’s mother, says she is thankful that no one was seriously injured.
“She definitely had someone watching her,” McKim said. “All four of them did. The four of them are lucky to be alive.
Tom Sanford, Kirstyn McKim’s father, said Bufton was a longtime family friend. He thanked him for the safe emergency landing.
“He’s got experience,” Sanford said. “A good friend of the family. We’ve been around for 10 to 11 years since they moved here.
Kirstyn’s parents have said she has a broken back and will need to see a specialist, but they are thankful that she and everyone else is alive.
The aircraft sustained some damage. The Federal Aviation Administration has been contacted following the accident.
“Unreal,” Kirstyn McKim’s parents said. “I drove around and saw the plane. It’s just a godsend that he can land like he did. He definitely saved all of their lives, that’s for sure.
The two left lanes of southbound I-355 were closed for almost four hours. All lanes have since reopened.
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