Plane Lands on Local Highway

10-18-05 - It was quite a sight in the skies over the Red River Tuesday afternoon, but it was the folks on the ground who couldn't believe their eyes when a small plane landed in the middle of Highway 69/75 just south of Durant.

Five people were on board a single engine Cessna when the pilot says he experienced engine failure.

Witnesses say the plane started smoking before struggling to maintain its altitude.

One motorist saw the pilot was headed for the highway and pulled a truck into the center lane to block traffic enabling the pilot to land safely and taxi off the highway.

Stuart Rustin saw the plane going down from several miles away and drove to the scene.

"I just noticed some black smoke and then some white smoke and he put his landing gear down," Rustin said. "I knew he had to be landing on the highway because there wasn't an airport close enough for him."

KXII was able to speak off camera with one of the passengers in the plane who says the group was just out for an afternoon trip over Southern Oklahoma.

Local officials are waiting for investigators from the FAA and NTSB but concluded that this could have been much worse.