A small plane crashed onto a car driving on a highway north of San Diego on Saturday, killing one person and injuring five others, the California Highway Patrol said.
The incident happened around 9 a.m. PT (noon ET) in Fallbrook on Interstate 15 North, about 50 miles from San Diego County when a single-engine, fixed-wing aircraft hit a Nissan, CHP spokesman Officer Chris Parent told NBC News.
One person in the car died, and the three other occupants were taken to the hospital with minor to moderate injuries, Parent said. The pilot and the passenger of the plane were transported to the hospital with major injuries. Their identities were not immediately made public.
It was unclear what caused the plane to crash-land, but eyewitnesses said it appeared to be having mechanical issues, Parent added.
Torrence Jenkins was traveling northbound on the highway when the crash happened.
“It hit a car in the back and skidded on the roadway” for what appeared to be at least 300 feet, he told NBC News.
The plane was leaking fuel on the ground, but there was no smoke or sign of fire coming from it.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Jenkins said.
Authorities shut down the freeway after the accident, with North County Fire Protection District warning of long-term traffic delays in both directions.
There has been an aircraft crash on I 15. We are expecting long term traffic problem both directions. Please avoid the area if possible.
— North County Fire (@NorthCountyFire) April 2, 2016
“Please avoid the area if possible,” North County Fire tweeted.
The Federal Aviation Administration will do an investigation to determine the cause of the crash, Parent said.