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Plane lands on California highway; no major injuries

  • Story Highlights
  • Piper Comanche 260 carrying a married couple landed on U.S. Highway 101
  • Plane's engine quit, pilot lost control; landed in south lane facing oncoming traffic
  • Plane struck two vehicles while landing, then spun and hit another one with its tail
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(CNN) -- A single-engine airplane made an emergency landing on a California highway Sunday morning, though no major injuries were reported, authorities said.

The landing happened at 10:36 a.m. Sunday. One vehicle passenger was treated for minor injuries.

The Piper Comanche 260 carrying a married couple landed on the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 101.

The Piper Comanche 260 carrying a married couple landed on the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 101 just outside Santa Barbara and a few miles from the airport, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer James Richards.

The plane's engine quit, and as the pilot descended, he lost control of the plane and landed in the southbound lane facing oncoming traffic. The plane struck two vehicles while landing, then spun and hit another one with its tail, Richards said.

One vehicle passenger was treated for minor injuries, he said. No other injuries were reported.

The landing happened at 10:36 a.m. (1:36 p.m. ET) and held up traffic for less than two hours, Richards said.

He added that the plane had departed Temecula in southwestern Riverside County, California, and was destined for the airport in Santa Barbara, a flight of about 180 miles.

The pilot told authorities that he attempted to switch fuel lines during the flight, but was unable to restore power to the plane. He said he alerted a tower at the airport that a landing on the highway was imminent, Richardson said.

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