Plane Crashes into Car after Failed Takeoff in Concord


OCTOBER 20, 2000
CONCORD, CALIFORNIA

A nine-passenger turboprop airplane crashed into a car near Buchanan Field airport Thursday afternoon, critically injuring the car's driver. The pilot of the twin-engine Beechcraft King Air 300 told authorities the aircraft hadn't built enough speed to take off when he tried to stop the plane at the northern end of the runway.

The plane's wheels locked, and it skidded off the runway and another 75 feet on the dirt before going through a chain-link fence and broadsiding the driver's 1989 Chevrolet on westbound Marsh Drive, a frontage road to state Highway 4. The car landed upside down, apparently pinning driver Dianna Pearson of Martinez inside. No passengers were inside the plane or the car at the time of the collision.

Pearson was airlifted to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where a spokeswoman said Thursday night that she had critical head injuries.

Pilot Donald Lee Alaman, 44, of Concord was was taken to Mount Diablo Medical Center in Concord for observation.

The plane went another 50 feet beyond the collision, breaking its nose wheel at the curb and crashing part way through a second fence. If it had moved another 50 feet, it apparently would have skidded onto eastbound Highway 4. Skid marks and tracks from the dual wheels attached to the wings could be seen starting at the concrete airstrip, across the dirt, Marsh Drive and to the perimeter fence, where the craft sat damaged but upright.

The crash probably slowed the plane's speed and kept the aircraft from going onto the highway crowded with commuters at the start of rush-hour at 3:40 p.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Cliff Kroeger said. Federal Aviation Administration investigators were examining the crash site Thursday evening but did not immediately offer an explanation for the crash.

The commercial aircraft, owned by Aerosmith Aviation, is for hire to private individuals.

The plane's front wheel lay on Marsh Drive while a few feet off the roadway Pearson's badly crushed car was upside down covering a number of 18-inch-high guard posts.

Airport officials closed the runway, leaving three others open. The airport is for smaller private aircraft and is owned and managed by Contra Costa County.

Source: ANG Newspapers

See also FAA Says Crash Plane May Have Had Empty Fuel Tank (Oct. 21)