MEDFORD, Ore.– A small plane crashed into a Medford neighborhood Saturday afternoon much to the surprise of residents who were enjoying a previously quiet weekend.
The plane went down along Whittle Avenue and Grandview Avenue, just south of the Rogue Valley airport, striking several trees and sliding along several neighbors front yards before coming to a stop. No neighbors were hurt.
Witnesses described the scene as hectic and chaotic as two men, considered to be in their thirties, exited the plane.
“This is like the first thing that’s ever happened and after this, you’re kind of like, ‘OK you never know right?'” said Melissa Oar, a resident who lives right around the corner from where the accident occurred.
Oar was one of the first on scene and says she is trained in First Aid and CPR and went to see if she could help. When she arrived, she said the two men were already out of the plane but had what seemed to be some serious injuries.
“The one gentleman had, I think, lost some of his front teeth. So we put pressure, my husband Michael put pressure on his mouth,” she said. “I had him do that. The other gentleman had an injury to his ear and he had a laceration to his arm.”
Oar says they continued to help the two men until paramedics arrived. They were then transported to the hospital where police say they are doing well.
Jim Porter, whose house the plane stopped in front of, says he was lucky enough that his wife had just moved the car and he had just stepped into his garage.
“I had walked maybe a foot into the garage and I heard Crash! Boom! Bang!” he said. “I said what the heck was that and I turnaround and an airplane fell in my front yard.”
Porter says the two men were pretty shaken up by the incident but remained coherent throughout the time till ambulances came. Porter and Oar both said the pilot claimed the plane lost the fuel pump which led to the crash.
Police and aviation officials are still investigating.
“All we have is just very little information that was given to us and I believe that’s what the dispatch said is something to do with the fuel pump,” said Cpl. Ericka Doran, Medford Police Department. “We still don’t know if that’s the case or not.”
Much of this incident is still under investigation. Witnesses claimed there was marijuana on the plane but no one made allegations that the pilots were under the influence. Police could neither confirm or deny that at this time.
Still, residents living near the airport say this doesn’t happen often.
“I’ve lived here since ’74 and we’ve had two crashes,” said Porter. “One down the street and one in my front yard.”
Police say Whittle Avenue will be moved to one lane until the plane can be cleared. NTSB and FAA officials will be coming to inspect the plane soon to identify the cause of the crash. No word yet on when those results may be release.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.