Dr. Richard Stanford, a long-time pediatrician in Oklahoma City, is the owner and operator of the small plane. He survived the crash but was seriously hurt.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) confirmed to News 4 that an NTSB investigator arrived at the scene late Sunday night.
They were on scene Monday morning when the wreckage was removed from the side of the interstate, just yards away from traffic. It was taken to a secure facility for further examination.
“When I seen it I was like ‘I know this ain’t happening,'” said one witness who watched the plane crash. “I looked over in the field and I just started praying and tears started flowing down my eyes, it was just crazy.”
Stanford was traveling from Sherman, Texas to Wiley Post Airport in Bethany when he crashed 10 miles from the runway. He nicked powerlines on the way down, which were live when fire fighters and first responders arrived.
“We did see the power lines,” said Scott Douglas, Oklahoma City Fire Captain. “We did see a fire. We extinguished the flames, and we began the extraction of removing the patient from the plane.”
Crews put out a small fire then used the jaws of life to pry the plane open so they could get to Stanford.
“He was conscious whenever our fire fighters arrived so that was a good sign,” said Douglas. “He was alert. He was talking to us. So those are good signs to us.”
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Douglas said the pilot told fire crews that he lost power in the cockpit shortly before crashing. NTSB said preliminary information indicated that the pilot reported a “reduction in RPM (rotations per minute).”
Investigators will now begin the process of documenting the scene and examining the aircraft. Part of the investigation, according to NTSB, will be to request radar data, weather information, maintenance records and the pilot’s medical records.
A preliminary report will be released 15 days after the accident. An official report could take up to two years to complete. Around 35 fire fighters arrived within minutes of the crash.