SALT LAKE CITY — The family of a driver who heard a crash and later learned a plane landed on her car says it's a miracle she walked away with only scrapes and a broken pinkie.
The emergency crash landing Tuesday afternoon sparked a fire on the plane and the rear half of Samantha Sandoval's black sedan on 1900 West in Roy, less than a mile from her home.
"The only word I can use to describe it is a miracle," her brother, Luke Draayer, said. "Had it been another 3 to 5 feet forward, it would have been a completely different story."
Authorities didn't say what exactly went wrong Tuesday, but they said the aircraft sought to make an emergency landing shortly after taking off from Ogden-Hinckley Airport.
The crash sent flames and a plume of smoke into the sky, closing several blocks of the busy suburban street Tuesday afternoon.
After the accident, bystanders helped Sandoval out of the car. An off-duty Ogden police officer who was nearby also helped the pilot get out of the cockpit, according to the police department.
The name of the 63-year-old man who was flying the plane has not been released. He was largely unharmed as well, Roy police said.
The only word I can use to describe it is a miracle. Had it been another 3 to 5 feet forward, it would have been a completely different story.
–Luke Drayyer, brother of Samantha Sandovol
Sandoval, 43, noticed construction was happening nearby and initially thought she had been hit by a cement truck, her brother said Wednesday.
Draayer said his family also is extremely fortunate that no one else was in the car. Sandoval has grandkids, and a car seat was retrieved from her smashed vehicle.
"We're glad she's here," Draayer said. "We would have liked for it to not have happened, but she's here and we will take it."
Prior to taking off, the pilot told air traffic control that he wasn't familiar with the area, according to a recording of the exchange posted on the website Live ATC.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.