Small, single-engine plane crash near Lion Country Safari in Palm Beach County, pilot uninjured

Plane knocked down 2 traffic signs

A small single-engine plane crashed along Southern Boulevard, just west of Lion Country Safari, in Western Palm Beach County Monday.

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot was on his was from Dulles airport to the Boca Raton airport.

But around 1:00 p.m., investigators said the plane had some sort of malfunction.

A spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board said the pilot indicated his fuel gauge was not working properly and that he ran out of fuel.

The single-engine Beechcraft slid down State Road 80, knocking down two traffic signs before stopping near a row of trees and power lines.

"He's very lucky he was able to set it down safely and walk away from it," said Captain Albert Borroto of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue

Investigators said the pilot managed to land the plane without hurting himself or anyone around him.

"It's interesting," said Borroto. "You don't usually have calls with airplanes landing on our highways in Florida."

The FAA said it will know more about why the plane had to make an emergency landing as it further investigates.

"If the wind is blowing in the right direction, it would have been just a standard landing. But in this case, the road was wet and he lost control of the plane," said David Avery of the FAA.

The pilot, whose name has yet to be released, did not want to speak about the incident. He told a reporter as he walked away that he was shaken, embarrassed and lucky to be alive.

"The aircraft is damaged but at least he's safe," said Borroto.

The National Transportation Safety Board is set to head the investigation and will release more details in 10 days with a preliminary report.

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