Two men were seriously injured last week when their single-engine plane crashed along the side of Highway 69 in Cherokee County, about three miles south of Bullard during the afternoon hours of Tuesday, Aug. 1.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the plane departed Tyler Pounds Regional Airport before crashing on Highway 69, near mile 352.
According to the dash cam video of an Angelina County constable who was driving south on Highway 69 at the time of the crash, the low-flying plane attempted to make a left turn to avoid trees. When it did, the plane began to descend and crash nose-first along the ditch on the north side of the roadway.
The plane, identified as a Cessna 150F, a single-engine plane with tail number N8879S, registered to Michael P. Daniel of Eunice, NM.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials identified Joshua Daniel, 36, of Bullard, and Jamie Jackson, 33, of Tomball, as the occupants of the plane, confirming that Daniel is a flight student and Jackson is a pilot instructor. It is still unknown as to who was piloting the aircraft at the time of the wreck.
The FAA said the plane originated from the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport after making a stop to take on more fuel. The two inside the plane were reportedly practicing grass landings and field runs at a landing strip located near the crash site.
As a result of the wreck, Daniel was taken via helicopter to a hospital in Tyler and taken to the Intensive Care Unit with injuries to his head and left arm. Jackson was taken by ambulance to a Tyler hospital. Both men have since been released.
According to the FAA, the pilot of the aircraft did not submit a flight plane, as the plane was observing the visual flight rules, a set of regulations under which a pilot operates an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going.
The wreck caused traffic backups and the closure of Highway 69 in both directions.
DPS troopers remained with the plane along the side of the highway until FFA and National Transportation Safety Board representatives arrived on the scene from Dallas.
Assisting DPS at the wreck scene were firefighters from Bullard Fire Department and Flint-Gresham Fire Department.
The FFA’s report on the crash states that the damage to the plane was “substantial.” The cause of the wreck is unknown at present time, but remains under investigation.