Female driver speaks out after pilot crashes his plane in his SUV on the Minnesota highway: “I’m glad it’s him”


A single-engine aircraft made a dramatic emergency landing on a freeway as cars drove down the freeway at night. Video footage posted on Twitter by the Minnesota Department of Transportation showed that the pilot touched down while traveling at the same speed as vehicles on Interstate 35 – a major highway in the town of Arden Hills, in the Minneapolis area .

The Bellanca Viking appears to have suffered an engine failure, the Ramsey County MP’s Federation said on Facebook, alongside images of the crashed craft in the hood of an SUV.

Tonight, MPs responded to a plane against a vehicle in Arden Hills, MN. No, you didn’t read it wrong! While in …

Posted by the Ramsey County Federation of Assistants on Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Brittany Yurik was alone in the SUV which was cut off by the single-engine aircraft.

“I saw [the plane] come towards me probably a second before our collision, ”Yurik told CBS Minnesota.

His car was destroyed, but Yurik left unharmed, as did driver Craig Gifford, 52, and his passenger.

“I talked to [Gifford]”Yurik said.” He’s very nice. He apologized very much. He explained to me what happened, and I can’t believe it’s all right. I think he felt the same. “

Janell Harwell of Itasca was driving on the freeway after visiting a friend in the Twin Cities.

“As I got closer and closer, I realized that this was an airplane that had actually crashed into a vehicle, and I applied my brakes with both feet and stopped. on time, thank goodness, ”Harwell said. “When I called 911 and she said, ‘I’m sorry, what did you say? I said, ‘A plane crashed into a vehicle on the highway.’ And she said, ‘Madam a plane?’ And I said, ‘Yes!’ “

She could see that Yurik was safe but shaken, but there was no movement from the plane.

“I got out and walked about five feet and kept yelling, ‘Are you okay? Does anyone need help?’ And then the plane door opened, and the woman and the man walked out and I was literally overwhelmed with relief, like so happy that they got out of there and gone. “

Gifford and his passenger got out of the plane and got into his car to keep warm.

He said, ‘Yeah, we got up in the air and my engines broke, my engine broke all over me, and I had to get down to where it was safest to get off.’ , she recalls.

Dick Knapinski, a fellow pilot with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, knows Gifford as a highly skilled and decorated aerobatic pilot. He says the emergency landing was executed well and went as the pilots train for them.

“When you fly you start looking around saying, ‘Where am I? If something happens, where am I going to land this plane safely?’” Knapinski said. “That’s exactly what this pilot did, and you have to commend him for doing everything exactly right to keep this injury free.”

Yurik says situations like this usually end differently, so it’s mind-boggling that no one got hurt.

“It’s not that I would like to get hit by a plane, but out of all the, you know, the planes that could have hit me, I’m glad it was him,” she said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

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