Plane Crash in Oregon Reportedly Kills At Least One

by Matthew Memrick

A Sunday night plane crash in Oregon reportedly killed its pilot near the Medford airport.

Airport Fire Department officials said a Piper Navajo went down near the Rogue Valley International Medford Airport, just across the street from the Airport Chevrolet car dealership.

First responders described twin-engine, gas-powered aircraft as a 9-passenger propeller plane. The plane was headed to a Nevada airport.

Firefighters sprayed foam around the plane crash scene to contain the fire. The UK Sun reported that multiple vehicles caught fire at the car dealership.

Authorities Responded Fast To Late Sunday Crash

Around 5 p.m. Sunday, the Medford Airport tower contacted its fire department to report the plane incident.

Airport Fire Chief John Karns told ABC that he believed the plane had just taken off from the airport right before the crash. Karns said he thought that the aircraft was not local to the Oregon area.

In another report by NBC News, police revealed they did not know precisely how many people were on board.

The ABC affiliate reported that officials told nearby Cascade Christian High School basketball players to stay inside the high school’s gym.

Local officials notified the National Transportation Safety Board of the Oregon incident.

Medford Police lieutenant Mike Budreau told ABC that the coroner started recovering the body after fire officials put out the fire.

One social media user found audio before the Oregon crash. The plane’s final destination was Fallon Municipal Airport in Nevada.

Social Media Reacted To The Crash

One local business, Empire Lockers, caught the plane in its fatal descent on a security camera and shared it with ABC News with a viewer discretion warning. 

One social media user traced the plane’s flight path before it crashed. The aircraft seemed to make a circle and tried to return to the airport before hitting the ground on Sunday night.

One Oregon Twitter user posted photos hours after the plane crash and hoped the fire wouldn’t spread with all the cars on the lot.

Another Twitter user responded, “I was working at the Airport Chevy. It was freaking wild that plane came down with so much speed it broke the sound barrier on impact.”

One witness told NBC News that they heard the plane crash.

“I was in my room, and then I heard the plane descending,” the Oregon resident said. “Then I heard a big thud, and I thought, ‘Was that a plane crash?’ My neighbors went on their roof, and they said there was a fire, so I got on top of the roof as well, and I saw flames.” 

One woman saw the plane crash news and asked why so many small planes crashed. She urged pilots to do safety checks before flights.