The airport is located next to the interstate, and the plane crashed in the southbound lane not far from of the runway it was trying to reach.
Right after taking off from John Wayne, the pilot placed a mayday call, saying he'd lost an engine.
Captain Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority told KABC that the plane clipped a auto on the freeway immediately before crashing, but the occupants of the vehicle were not hurt. It is unclear if the injured parties were on the plane or drivers on the freeway. He checked to make sure his passenger was safe before pulling over on the side of the freeway.
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The fiery crash was captured on cellphone video by a driver and broadcast on local KABC-TV. The witness said she saw a woman dragging a man from the wreckage. Two people were injured in the small plane crash. Wreckage from the plane is scattered on both sides of the freeway. The airport, which is located in Santa Ana, posted on Twitter that the plane landed short of the runway.
John Wayne Airport has been shut down to arrivals in the aftermath of the crash. According to records, the last time this plane was in the air was Thursday when it flew from John Wayne to Ontario, then back to John Wayne.
The cause of the crash was being investigated.