SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Former San Francisco Giants catcher Matt Nokes says he once owned the plane involved in a fatal crash on a Southern California freeway, and he safely landed it on the same highway 16 years ago.
Nokes said he sold the plane years ago, but he knew the current owner who crashed Saturday on Interstate 15, the freeway that runs to Las Vegas.
Authorities say pilot Dennis Hogge was seriously injured when his plane landed and slammed into a SUV on the side of the road.
Fire department spokesman John Buchanan says witnesses reported that the plane crash-landed on its belly and plowed into the trunk of a Nissan stopped on the side of the highway about 50 miles north of San Diego.
The CHP told CBS Los Angeles even if the Nissan driver, 42-year-old Aaron McCann, had seen the plane coming there was no way for him to get out of the way. He has apparently stopped and pulled over moments earlier to synch his Bluetooth.
One woman in the back of the Nissan who died at the scene was identified as 38-year-old Antoinette Isbelle of San Diego. Five others, including Hogge and a female passenger, were injured. They are expected to survive their injuries.
Nokes says Hogge is an outstanding pilot and plane builder.
Nokes was piloting the Lancair IV on its second flight in February 2000 when the engine quit and he safely landed on the busy freeway.
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