On January 20th, a pilot was flying a Piper airplane along US 98 in the Gulf Breeze area on his way to Birmingham, Alabama, when he suddenly experienced mechanical problems. The pilot had to make an emergency landing right on the highway. After striking several utility lines, the plane skidded along US 98 on its belly and struck a vehicle in the rear with the front of the aircraft, causing minor damage to the vehicle. The aircraft came to final rest in the westbound lanes. After FHP investigated the traffic crash that resulted when the plane collided with the car, the plane was loaded onto a rollback wrecker and escorted to the Midway Fire Department for storage. The incident tied up traffic on US 98 for several hours. Needless to say, it was an unusual sight to see an airplane sitting in the middle of US 98. Fortunately, no one was injured during this incident.
Trooper W. P. Rittenhouse directs traffic
during the crash investigation.