Video posted to social media shows the harrowing moments in which the injured pilot of a crashed Cessna 172 was pulled from his seat moments before the plane was hit by a commuter train.
The plane crashed at around 2:10 pm on Sunday, January 9, just blocks from the LAPD’s Foothills Division station reports CBS News. As a result, officers were on the scene quickly, which was a blessing because police bodycam footage reveals that the train hit the plane at 2:15 pm.
Police say they notified the railroad of the incident but, perhaps because of how quickly the events transpired, the train that hit the Cessna 172 was not able to be stopped. Officers, fortunately, realized there was no time to spare and worked to remove the man from the cockpit.
Foothill Division Officers displayed heroism and quick action by saving the life of a pilot who made an emergency landing on the railroad tracks at San Fernando Rd. and Osborne St., just before an oncoming train collided with the aircraft. pic.twitter.com/DDxtGGIIMo
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) January 10, 2022
The pilot was the only person aboard the plane and despite the cuts and blood that can be seen in the video above, no injuries beyond that have been reported.
“Seeing what happened, I’m grateful to be alive. I’m grateful the pilot survived as well,” Officer Robert Sherock said, one of the four LAPD officers on the scene, along with Damien Castro, Christopher Aboyte, and Sgt. Joseph Joseph Cavestany.
The plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Whiteman Airport, in the San Fernando Valley community of Pacoima.
“The plane had a failed takeoff and landed on the train tracks at a popular intersection,” Luis Jimenez, who filmed a video of the event, told News Nation. “Just seconds before impact, police officers saved the pilot, and a piece of debris almost hit me.”
Following the incident, Metrolink halted train service and road traffic was detoured. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating.
Debris from the plane that narrowly missed hitting me pic.twitter.com/2DVuo6GaMG
— Luis Jimenez (@ComposerLuis) January 9, 2022