SAN JACINTO COUNTY — ABC 13 – There were no injuries when a Beechcraft fixed wing aircraft with three people on board landed on U.S. 59, clipping just an SUV’s roof in the process, according to Texas Department of Public Safety.
The landing happened about four miles north of Cleveland, around the San Jacinto-Liberty county line, at about 2:15 p.m.
Citing its preliminary findings, Texas DPS said the small plane, which took off from Jennings, Louisiana, and was bound for Junction, Texas, which is about 140 miles west of Austin, reportedly lost altitude and suffered a power failure at about 6,000 feet in the air.
The plane’s landing gear hit a 2004 Toyota SUV before the aircraft came to rest in a nearby field.
Authorities added the pilot was trying to land at Cleveland Municipal Airport but couldn’t make it, choosing to land on the freeway instead.
Authorities identified the pilot as 37-year-old Kendall John Krielow, of Thibodaux, Louisiana. The 51-year-old driver in the SUV, who is from Katy, was the only occupant of his vehicle.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what led to the midair emergency.
San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers praised the pilot’s maneuvering for limiting the potential injuries and deaths from the ordeal.
“The pilot Gods were surely with pilot Kendall Krielow,” the sheriff said in a statement. “This obviously skilled pilot was able to bring his Beechcraft to a near perfect resting place paralleling I-69 without causing any injury to traveling (sic) motorist or residence in this rural community.”
Capers continued, “Krielow must have trained under the now-famous pilot Sully Sullenberger who successfully turned a near-tragedy of life-altering proportions into a somewhat happy landing much like this hero from Louisiana.”
Written by KFDM/FOX 4