- Associated Press - Saturday, December 13, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Springfield business executive and three passengers in a small, private plane he was piloting narrowly averted disaster after the aircraft clipped a cellphone tower and continued for a mile and a half before crashing into a vacant lot.

Two people received minor injuries and two others were unhurt when the plane went down around 5:30 p.m. Friday after traveling over rush-hour traffic and coming to rest less than 100 feet from several houses, The Springfield News-Leader (https://sgfnow.co/1IMKe1K ) reported.

It crashed onto a lot owned by Evangel University. Springfield Police spokesman Lt. Chad Eutsler said the situation could have been much worse with so many homes and buildings in the vicinity. “We are very fortunate,” Eutsler said.

Bill Perkin, owner of KSPR-TV and vice president of Integrity Home Care of Springfield - which owned the plane - was flying the six-seat craft. KSPR-TV reported the passengers were Integrity Chief Executive Greg Horton and Paul Reinert, the owners of the company, and Amy Ford, the company’s hospice director. They were returning to Springfield after visiting Integrity’s office in Kansas City.

Ken Walker, who also pilots small airplanes, was hooking up a trailer at a printing company when he saw the plane hit the cell tower with its right wing.

Paul Logsdon, spokesman for Evangel, was surprised that the plane hit the ground where it did.

“It’s sort of a miracle it landed there near a cluster of trees,” Logsdon said. “That’s one of the very few bare stretches around.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash.


Information from: Springfield News-Leader, https://www.news-leader.com

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