Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue responded to a small aircraft that made an emergency crash landing along Sheridan Street, Saturday.
According to authorities, the four-seater 1965 Mooney single engine plane carrying two people lost power while heading toward North Perry Airport from Georgia. "What we know is while the plane was coming in from Georgia, lost or had some sort of power issue with the plane and came down," said Tom Gallagher of Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue.
Witnesses stood in disbelief as the plane made the crash landing in the middle of the road. "I was standing over at Publix and I saw the plane coming down," said Steve Romine, who witnessed the landing.
"I heard a big, 'Boom!'" said Daniel Begood, who also witnessed the landing. "And I heard like trees crashing."
The aircraft took out trees as the pilot, who has been identified as 68-year-old William McConnell of Georgia, guided the plane into the median and around traffic. "The plane was going back sideways, back and forth and there was no power whatsoever," said witness Justin Spurlin.
Spurlin shot video of the aftermath seconds after the plane went down. "Everything was chaotic and wanted to make sure that everything was fine, the scene was OK," said Spurlin. "That the plane wasn't coming anywhere near the kids. That's what we were concerned about when we saw a plane going that low. But everything was fine."
McConnell and a passenger onboard the plane were not injured. "He's very lucky," said Begood. "By the grace of God, I think."
The fire department credits McConnell with making the spilt second decision to land on the median instead of on the road to avoid traffic and likely save the lives of those on the ground. "He had a clear landing on Sheridan Street until the traffic pattern changed and then he went into the median and the plane struck some of the trees," said Gallagher.
The plane, which was taken away on a flatbed truck, will be investigated by the FAA and the NTSB.