Four local residents died last week when their small plane crashed in Riverdale. The sudden crash, just before 1:00 p.m. on July 26, surprised motorists on the I-15 near the Ogden-Hinckley Airport, located close to the highway. According to reports, the plane had taken off only about forty-five seconds earlier, but quickly ran into trouble and plummeted into the northbound lanes of the highway.

Many Witnesses, Quick Response

The time and location of the crash meant that there were many people who saw the crash and immediately called 911. Emergency crews were on the scene within minutes. But those who saw the crash recognized that it wasn’t survivable.

Several motorists who are used to driving near the airport thought the plane was unusually low or moving slowly and was experiencing some kind of problem. One witness reported a “super loud sound” from the engine just before the plane dropped from the sky.

Several reports suggest that the pilot was attempting to return to the airport at the time of the crash. At least one witness thought the pilot was attempting a landing on the highway.

There are likely to be many unanswered questions about exactly what happened until the full investigation has been completed, which usually takes twelve to eighteen months.

Motorists Spared

Those aboard the plane—the pilot, his wife, and another married couple, who all lived within a few miles of the airport—were killed in the crash. Fortunately, there were no injuries or deaths on the ground. Some drivers had worried that the plane might hit them, and one man said he was close enough to feel the heat of the initial explosion, but no bystanders were caught in it.

That’s not always the case, especially in densely populated areas. We hear of about one crash per month in which an aircraft strikes a house or other structure, and occasionally someone on the ground is killed.

At least one percent of the victims of general aviation crashes were not on an aircraft. There have been only two years since 1996 when small plane crashes didn’t kill an unsuspecting person on the ground.

These can be traumatic events for survivors and witnesses, as recordings of the emotional 911 callers from the Riverdale crash show. Authorities have offered assistance and hope those most affected will take advantage.

Crashes Surprisingly Common

There are three or four small plane crashes every day in the United States. They often don’t get widespread coverage, perhaps because they happen so frequently. Even fatal crashes (four to five each week) are sometimes only reported locally unless there is dramatic video.

Earlier this month, in fact, two men died in a small plane crash in Butterfield Canyon just west of Herriman. That crash received just a few paragraphs of coverage in most local media.

Salt Lake City Plane Crash Lawyers

When you or someone close to you has been harmed—physically, financially, or psychologically—by an aircraft accident, turn to a law firm with experience. Craig Swapp & Associates understands plane accident law and can help you get the resolution you require.

Whether you were injured as a passenger, hurt in an accident at a terminal or airfield, or were on the ground during the crash, call us at 1-800-404-9000 or contact us online through the form below to schedule a free consultation. You can also launch the LiveChat feature from any page of this website for more information.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp