Plane makes emergency landing on California freeway

Plane makes emergency landing on California freeway

SAN LEANDRO, CA (KPIX/CNN) - You can hear the shock and panic in Eric and Brandi Geer's voices as they watch the single-engine Cessna land right in front of them on westbound 580 just past the 238 interchange in San Leandro, CA.

The Geers said it looked like the pilot waited for a gap in traffic, then dropped it down near the 164th street exit.

"He was able to hold that plane up until all the cars got out of the way and then he landed it and he immediately went to the side," said Brandi Geers.

She quickly called 911. California Highway Patrol said they put out the alert to officers at around 6:45 p.m.

Neither the pilot nor his passenger were hurt. Amazingly, even with heavy Saturday night traffic, the plane didn't hit any cars.

"It was fear at first and then adrenaline kicks in," Brandi Geers said.

The plane was not damaged, nor were any vehicles on the freeway hit by the plane.

Emergency vehicles responded to the scene. CHP shut down two westbound lanes as they investigated the incident and waited to remove the plane.

Eric Greer was behind the wheel of the family car during the incident. He said he started trying to slow down the traffic behind him as the plane made its way onto the shoulder of the freeway.

"So I was trying to like, 'Hey! Listen up!' So I was swerving around on the freeway," said Eric Greer.

According to sources at the CHP, the plane took off from Lake Tahoe and was supposed to end its flight at the Hayward Executive Airport less than five miles from where the emergency landing happened.

The pilot reported a problem with the fuel pump and decided to make the emergency landing.

"You hear about it on TV, you see it sometimes and you're like, 'That would never happen!' There are things that happen that are beyond your control, and planes do fall out of the sky," said Brandi Geer.

As of about 10 p.m., the plane had been loaded on the back of a flatbed truck and was going to be taken to the Hayward Airport where it was supposed to land before the pilot experienced issues.

The plane's registered owner is Fly Fe LLC, based in Reno, the FAA said.

The cause of the emergency landing is under investigation.

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