A small plane made a crash landing on I-495 southbound in Mansfield shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. The two occupants of the plane, 24-year-old Matthew Kleindienst of Bridgewater and 21-year-old Brian Souza of Stoneham, did not suffer any injuries.
A small plane made a crash landing on I-495 southbound in Mansfield shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday morning.
About 10:57 a.m., troopers from the Foxboro barracks reported a small plane down in the left lane of I-495 southbound in Mansfield, according to Deputy Fire Chief James Puleo.
Both the Mansfield and Norton fire departments were called to the scene, and the state police shut down traffic shortly after the crash occurred.
There were other vehicles in the area at the time of the crash, but no vehicles were affected by the accident.
According to Puleo, Norwood Memorial Airport received a distress call from the aircraft, which was identified as a Piper Warrior, prior to the crash.
Two people had been inside the Piper Warrior aircraft when it went down, and both occupants had exited the plane on their own.
“Upon on our arrival, we were met by two people that were walking from the aircraft,” Puleo said.
The two occupants of the plane, 24-year-old Matthew Kleindienst of Bridgewater and 21-year-old Brian Souza of Stoneham, did not suffer any injuries. After an evaluation by Mansfield EMS personnel, it was determined that the pair would not be taken to a hospital.
“They will not be transported to the hospital. We are very, very grateful for that,” Puleo said.
According to Puleo, the plane had taken off from Hanscom Air Force Base. Information regarding where the plane was headed was not available, and officials at the scene would not release any other information regarding the flight plan of the aircraft.
“Whatever happened here, one thing’s for certain, the pilot must have done a good job, because both people are alive,” Puleo said.
At a midday press conference, Puleo estimated that about 10 to 15 gallons of fuel from the aircraft had leaked from the aircraft and had spread across two lanes of highway before it could be contained.
The scene was covered by foam and sand to contain any further ignition, and the plane had been disabled by fire department personnel, according to Puleo.
As of early afternoon Tuesday, traffic was backed up considerably on I-495 southbound. Traffic around the crash site had been reduced to one lane and State Police Sgt. Michael Popovics estimated that traffic was backed up over a mile.
The entire southbound side of 495 in Mansfield was closed about 2:30 p.m. as they prepared to remove the plane. All southbound lanes, including the breakdown lane (which was previously open) were expected to be closed for approximately 20 minutes. After that, the breakdown lane was expected to be reopened, but the three travel lanes will remain closed, for cleanup operations.The cause of the crash is unknown at this time and state police officials said the FAA would be conducting an investigation into the crash.