A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) airplane crash-landed Wednesday, surprising drivers on Voss Road, near Sugar Land, Texas. Only one of the three passengers on the plane was injured. The unidentified victim was treated and released from a nearby hospital.
The plane, a single-engine Cessna, was on a training mission and was scheduled to land at the Sugar Land Regional Airport around 3 p.m. local time. According to a DEA spokesman, the plane suffered a mechanical problem, forcing the pilot into an emergency landing. He was attempting to land on the road when he snagged power lines and struck several cars. The plane caused significant damage to at least one of the cars but no injuries were reported by car drivers or passengers.
One of the cars, a Tesla, was driven by Oniel Kurup who shared details of the crash and pictures of his car on his Facebook page. He was thankful to have escaped the incident without even a scratch.
Terri Schiel said she “only had a split second to think” before the plane crashed into her Toyota’s windshield and sent the car into a tailspin. Schiel’s son, Jay Camp, was riding in the passenger seat and was surprised they survived the ordeal.
Camp told ABC13, “I felt the spirit of the Lord speak to me after that hit, and he said, ‘Son, I’ve got you.'”
Other witnesses reported hearing the plane descend and that it sounded like something was wrong. They heard the crash and then screeching tires. Residents noted that the incident occurred when schools were dismissing for the day and at rush-hour. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, the responding local law enforcement agency, also reported that the plane was leaking fuel but it did not catch fire.
“It’s truly a miracle that this incident wasn’t more disastrous,” said Mike Andrews, a lawyer at Beasley Allen Law Firm who focuses much of his practice on aviation litigation. “No one expects planes to fall out of the sky and crash into you as you’re driving down the road. Investigators will be working to uncover the cause of the mechanical problems over the coming days. All too often, a plane crash is due to a defective component, negligence or a combination of both. In light of recent reporting that funds have been shifted from FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] and research intended for cancer and HIV research and instead sent to fund ICE [Immigration Customs and Enforcement] and rounding up immigrants, it will be most interesting to see if the current administration shifted funds intended for maintenance on DEA aircraft.”
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).