Pilot survives plane crash into car in South Hill parking lot

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — A 53-year-old pilot flying from Thun Field to his home airport in Auburn survived after he crashed into a car on Thursday afternoon in a South Hill parking lot.

According to Pierce County sheriff’s deputies, the small plane lost power after takeoff.

It crashed in the parking lot of a Target store at Meridian and 160th Street East at 4:15 p.m.

People who saw the plane diving toward the parking lot told investigators it slammed into the pavement and flipped onto an unoccupied car. They then helped the bruised and rattled pilot get out of the mangled cockpit.

He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

“The pilot is up, walking around with minor injuries,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer. “He’s shook up but going to be OK.”

The pilot, who had just bought the 1980 Cessna, was the only person in the single-engine plane.

KIRO 7 spoke with the family who owns the car that was hit.

The owner of the car told KIRO 7 she had just driven four children to Target. They were all in the store when the plane flipped upside down and broke in half over the car.

“My brother called me and said, ‘Are you in Target? Because a plane crashed in the parking lot.' So, we were already paying and so then we looked out the window and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I think that’s where I parked my car!'” Shelby Ferguson said.

Crews had to cut the plane into pieces to unwrap the wreckage from the car.