“Emergency Landing Leads to Fiery Crash on I-26 in Ashville, NC; Two Hospitalized”

Airplane makes emergency landing on I-26 near Ashville, NC, and bursts into flames sending two people to the hospital

An airplane made an emergency landing on I-26 in Ashville, North Carolina, on Thursday night. The two passengers inside the plane were taken to the hospital. The cause of the crash is unknown.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the incident happened around 10:30 p.m. near mile marker 97. The plane was a Cessna 172 Skyhawk that was flying from Asheville Regional Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport1.

The pilot, identified as Vincent Fraser, 31, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, told WSPA 7News that his plane’s engine failed and he had to land on the highway because there was no other place to go. He said he restarted his engine three times before he decided to land on the bridge over I-26.

However, as he approached the bridge, his plane’s engine shut down again and he had to make a hard landing on the highway. He said his plane burst into flames after hitting some trees and power lines.

“I looked at him and I told him I was sorry, and that I loved him,” Fraser said of his father-in-law who was with him in the plane. “From there on out, it’s just a commitment. Let’s see what’s going to happen. Let’s do this the best we can.”

Fraser and his father-in-law managed to escape from the burning plane before it exploded. They were rescued by firefighters who arrived at the scene shortly after. They were taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center with minor injuries1.

The highway was closed for several hours as crews worked to clear the debris and repair the damage. No other vehicles or people were involved in or affected by the crash1.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will also review the incident1.

This is not the first time that a pilot has made an emergency landing on a highway in North Carolina. In July 2022, Vince Fraser also landed his plane on I-26 near Asheville after his engine failed over a wooded area in Swain County23. He survived with minor injuries and was praised for his bravery by many people.

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