Today’s commute was a bit more eventful than usual. While carpooling towards the freeway, I noticed about four aircraft circling above the vicinity of Falcon Field Airport.
I thought it seemed odd that there would be a backup of air traffic as Falcon Field is a small airport. However, from about a 1/2 mile away, it became apparent that the aircraft in question were news helicopters as several emergency vehicles were parked on the side of the road across the street from the airport.
Several areas of the lot were sectioned off with police caution tape. At this point I didn’t know what was going on. I figured there had to be a dead body or bodies in the lot based on how the lot was sectioned off and the number of police and fire vehicles on site. There were news vans of 2 local stations already on-site and I could see another getting ready to approach the scene.
While stopped at intersection for a red light, I couldn’t help but scan the scene. Golfers from the golf course on the other side of the intersection had paused their tee times and were standing on a hill to catch a glimpse of the activity in the lot. Employees from Boeing, located on the northwest corner of the intersection were milling around, trying to make sense of whatever happened.
Right before the light turned back to green, it occurred to me to take a picture. I turned and snapped a photo as best I could, which is the photo shown here. The vehicles shown all the way to the right in the photo are local news vans. Otherwise I only got shots of fire department vehicles.
Once on the freeway I called my uncle to see if he was watching the news (please note I was sitting in the passenger seat at the time). When I told him what I just witnessed, he quickly turned on the news and informed me that a small plane had actually crashed in that lot. I thanked him and said I’d catch the rest of the story online at work.
For some reason, I just had a sensation of cold travel through me. I had been running late this morning and stalled to pay some bills. Had I actually left for work on time, I very well could have been sitting on the road when that plane crashed. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be driving down the road and have a plane fly right over you and crash. Or to be golfing and see a plane go down while you’re trying to tee off.
By the time I got to work, there was a small article posted. The plane was a home-built single engine plane with two passengers, both of whom died as a result of the crash.
I can say I was never more grateful to be healthy and to have arrived safely at work.
P.S. To give you an idea of how things are situated on this intersection, I put together a very simple map below.