DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV) – It was just after 12 p.m. Tuesday when a single-engine Piper made an emergency landing on the southbound Interstate 5 at the same exact time 7-year-old Evie and her grandmother, Victoria Roberts, were heading home.
“I thought I heard a loud crash, and I thought we had been hit by a semi,” Roberts said.
It wasn’t a semi; it was the plane.
“We heard this loud noise, and my grandma yelled at me and said, ‘Close your eyes and your mouth and get out of the car,’” Evie said.
But she was stuck inside. “The back door was jammed, and there was water and glass all over the car,” she said.
Evie and her grandmother were drenched in fuel, and the little girl made it out by crawling over the center console.
They were helped by the kindness of a stranger. “And there was a nice woman named heather,” Roberts said.
Emergency crews rushed to help get Evie’s fuel-soaked clothing off her body.
“They took all my clothes off, and then they wrapped me in blankets,” Evie said.
It was then that Roberts started processing what had happened.
“I see an airplane without a right wing, and I’m looking at the car and going, ‘It’s in my back seat,’” she said.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the plane took off from Montgomery Field and was headed to La Jolla when it started having mechanical trouble.
It clipped four cars as it landed on the freeway.
The pilot and passenger were not injured, but several people who were in vehicles struck by the plane sustained minor injuries.
Traffic on the 5 was backed up for hours until the plane was eventually towed back to Montgomery Field.
Evie is back home with her grandma, her mom, her dad and brother, who surprised her with flowers after a long, stressful day.
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