WYOMING, Minn. — A Minnesota pilot is safe at home Saturday after crash landing on a busy highway.
It happened just after 10 p.m. Friday on Interstate 35 in Wyoming, Minnesota. The pilot told police his single-engine plane ran out of fuel and he had to make an emergency landing.
Patrick Bodine was on his way home to North Branch from the Twin Cities Friday night when he saw lights approaching in the sky.
“It looked like it was coming down the exit ramp onto the freeway,” said Bodine.
A pilot — who had run out of gas — made an emergency landing onto the southbound lane of I-35 near County Road 22, miraculously avoiding hitting any vehicles.
The road was packed with holiday weekend travelers.
“It looked like he had hooked into the center median crash barrier,” Bodine said.
The pilot clipped a light pole before touching down and veering off into the median. He suffered only minor injuries.
“We saw the guy get out and he looked fine,” said Bodine.
The pilot told authorities he was trying to find the Cambridge Airport.
Following the emergency landing, all lanes of I-35 were shut down until midnight, causing traffic backups.
“Afterwards watching the traffic back up from where we were, you could see down the freeway all the way towards Highway 8 and it was backed all the way up there,” Bodine said.
The plane was towed off the freeway to Forest Lake.
The Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the incident.
Public records show the plane was registered in 2007 to Leonard Nolden. Nolden declined to comment, but did tell WCCO he is OK.