BOWIE, Md. (WJZ) — Federal authorities continue their investigation into what caused a small plane to crash in Bowie Monday afternoon, injuring all three people on board. Those passengers are recovering at Shock Trauma.
Derek Valcourt has the latest information on the crash, including the identities of the passengers.
The pilot and all three passengers are listed in critical condition as investigators try to piece together what went wrong.
The small single-engine plane crashed Monday afternoon along the shoulder of westbound Rt. 50 in Bowie, snarling traffic for hours.
For some drivers, it was a close call.
“The plane just went right over the roof of my car and it did a nosedive right into the bushes,” said Caderal Jones.
Jones is one of several who rushed to check on the plane’s three passengers, including one who was alert and speaking in the backseat.
“He said, `I think my legs are busted open’ but he wasn’t bleeding bad. I think they were all broke,” Jones said.
Authorities have identified the pilot as Alireza Tivay, 58, of Washington, D.C. The passengers were Deborah Tucker, 48, of Alexandria and Seth Sharpe, 45, of Laurel. All were rushed to the hospital.
Just to give you some perspective on how fast this all unfolded, the plane crashed into the treeline and it hadn’t been in the air long at all. In fact, it had just taken off from the runway which sits just across from the eight lanes of traffic along Rt. 50.
“One of the witnesses that first treated the patients was a pilot from that airport who ran across all lanes of traffic and was one of the first to treat all three patients,” said Prince George’s County Fire Department Assistant Chief Alicia Francis.
“Takeoff is the most critical time, obviously,” said pilot Ken Corbett.
Pilots, like Corbett. who use the Freeway Airport were surprised to hear of the accident. They’re now waiting to hear if it was mechanical problems that caused the plane to crash after takeoff.
“You just hate to see that happen to anybody,” Corbett said.
Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are looking into how and why the plane crashed. A preliminary report is not expected for days.
Authorities say the plane was fully fueled at the time of the crash.