Witness saw plane landing moments before crash

One Transported After Plane Crash
One Transported After Plane Crash
Wichita County Plane Crash
Wichita County Plane Crash

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - A 65-year-old Wichita Falls man spent the night in his downed airplane before walking for help Monday morning in Wichita County.

The FAA website shows the plane was last registered to a pilot in Nacogdoches, Texas. Skidmarks are still visible on the runway where the tires were locked up.

Ginger Peterson said she saw the plane land.

"I could hear the plane struggling and putting," she said.

Peterson said Sunday around 9:00 pm she noticed strong thunderstorms moving into the area. That is when the plane was trying to land.

"It landed on the runway and went all the way to the end of the runway," Peterson said. "And I thought good he is on the ground and okay."

She was concerned when the plane never turned around, however she thought the pilot may have needed to catch his breath.

Turns out it did not turn around and skidded off the runway into a water-filled ditch about 300 yards away.

The man flying that plane spent the night inside the aircraft.

"Our understanding is he was able to walk to a local residence and call for help from there," DPS State Trooper, Will Richter said.

The pilot was then rushed to United Regional. Initially, DPS Troopers were not quite sure how it happened. But once they were, it left Peterson wishing she had done more.

"I felt horrible," Peterson said. "I thought gosh I hope he's okay. And I hope that he didn't sit there all night injured when I could have called it in."

The pilot was the only person inside the single engine plane and is in stable condition at United Regional.

The FAA has taken over the investigation, but at this time it is unclear if weather played a role in the crash.

Stay with Newschannel 6 as we continue to follow this developing story.

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