Plane crash-lands on Gainesville road

Pilot, passenger taken to hospital in stable condition


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A small plane crash-landed Sunday afternoon in Gainesville.

The incident happened on Northeast Waldo Road, according to the Gainesville Police Department.

Police tell WJXT-TV that the pilot of the single-engine Cessna, Walter Amon, 61, reported a fire in the cockpit. Armon and a passenger were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

A witness came to the aid of the two people on board the plane. Rusty Hoffman was mowing the lawn of a nearby business when he saw the plane go down. He said his military background and training kicked in.

"There was a lot of luggage in there, so I guess they were traveling. Lot of clear containers and the lady had a couple lacerations on her legs, and a big one on her head. I just held paper towels on it and the other guy was being assisted by someone else," Hoffman said.

Hartman said he even joked with the woman on board, saying her makeup still looked good even after being in a plane crash. He said in a terrifying time, the woman laughed which told him she was aware of her surroundings and doing well.

The Gainesville Police Department responded shortly after... they blocked off the road in all directions while investigators worked to clean up the debris and snap pictures of the damage

“It still amazes me that the pilot was able to land this plane in the middle of a major highway for Gainesville and not hit any other cars, people, pedestrians, or buildings in the area," Lt. Tscharna Senn with the Gainesville Police Department, said. "To me that is an amazing feat. But that is what happened."

"They (police) responded fast, and they blocked off as much as they could and then left the traffic through," said Hoffman.

According to the Gainseville PD, Walter Amon, 61, is the pilot. WJXT looked up the plate number and the plane is registered in Scottsdale, Ariz. We are told that both Amon and the passenger are expected to be OK.