‘This is a once-in-a-million thing’: Plane crashes in Lodi resident’s backyard

‘This is a once-in-a-million thing’: Plane crashes in Lodi resident’s backyard

A Lodi resident is feeling lucky to be safe tonight after a plane crashed in his backyard Saturday.

Officials are investigating the Columbia County crash which happened near KD’s Bar and Grill on Fair Street. The pilot, a town of Dane resident in his 70s, hit some trees and crashed into a field while on his way to a landing strip about a half-mile away, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s kind of surreal,” said Kurtis Gauger, whose house is about 50 yards from the crashed plane.

It was strange enough for Gauger to see a commotion in his backyard Saturday afternoon. He definitely didn’t expect to see the plane.

“I kind of had to look at it a couple times,” he said. “(I was thinking,) ‘Oh my god, what the hell happened? I hope everyone’s OK.'”

Lt. Wayne Smith, of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department, said the pilot was able to walk away from the crash, but was taken to the hospital with minor injures.

“This is really fortunate this worked out the way it did,” Smith said. “You’re first concerned about how many people are on the plane and what might their conditions be, but also when a plane comes down out of the sky, what may it have struck?”

Smith said the plane will stay in place until the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board decide what should happen next.

He said the crashed plane is a Sonex 393, one that can be home-built. He’s glad the aircraft took the brunt of the injuries.

“Oh my God, what if it was over a little bit?” Gauger said. “It could have been worse for him too.”

Knowing everyone is safe, Gauger instead has something to tell his friends. He just hopes a plane never hits so close to home again.

“Oh no, this is a once-in-a-million thing that happens,” he said. “It’s just kind of crazy.”

A Lodi resident is pretty shocked to see a plane in his backyard this afternoon. Authorities are investigating the crash. Stay with us for more info as we get it @WISCTV_News3 pic.twitter.com/N2pYMoJ3Np

— Madalyn O’Neill (@news3madalyn) December 15, 2018

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