BLAIR, Neb. — Employees at the Woodhouse auto dealership on U.S. Highway 30 spotted a small plane flying too low late Thursday afternoon.
“The next thing we knew, it hit a power line and crashed,” said manager Dave Kaiser. “There was a big spark on the wire.”
Kaiser and other employees rushed to help the pilot, but “he wasn't moving at all,” he said.
Authorities identified the pilot as Robert V. Herrick, 92, of Nickerson, Neb. He died on impact as his plane nose-dived about 5:15 p.m. into a Woodhouse storage lot.
Kaiser said the aircraft crashed into about five half-ton 4-by-4 pickup trucks that were being stored in an area of the lot known as “Truck Mountain,” west of Highway 30.
The single-engine plane avoided the main part of the sprawling dealership, which was open for business. No one else was injured, said Lt. Aaron Barrow of the Blair Police Department.
The plane, registered as a 1946 Ercoupe 415-C, did not take down the power line, though brief power outages were reported.
Barrow said he wasn't sure where the plane had been before the crash. It is normally hangared in Scribner, Neb., which is northwest of Fremont.
Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash, Barrow said. An autopsy was planned.
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