A Carson City man was seriously injured Saturday night when a plane crashed into his backyard as he watered his lawn in the 4400 block of Apollo Drive in East Carson.
Robert Griffin, 62, was taken from the scene by CareFlight helicopter to Washoe Medical Center in Reno. The plane, flown by Carson City physician Kevin Jensen, fell from the sky around 8 p.m., landing upside down and pinning Griffin beneath the tail, said Carson City Sheriff's Deputy Scott Burau.
Jensen and his passenger, wife, Lois, were taken by ambulance to Carson-Tahoe Hospital where Lois Jensen was taken by CareFlight to Washoe Medical Center. Her condition was unknown. Both Griffin and Kevin Jensen underwent surgery and were listed in stable condition. Griffin's wife, Patricia, who witnessed the accident, but was unhurt, was also transported to Carson-Tahoe Hospital.
"What we are being told from neighbors and a brief interview with the pilot is the craft came in low and fast, clipping power lines and trees. Both the pilot and neighbors so far are confirming the fact that the craft's engine was not running," Burau said.
Lack of fuel doesn't seem to be the problem, he said, because there was fuel spilled, which firefighters cleaned up.
Pieces of the single-engine Cessna were strewn about the quiet neighborhood of modular homes. The tops of a cluster of three cottonwoods in the Griffins' backyard were shaved off just feet away from where the plane rested on the lush lawn.
"We've got some debris several hundred feet in the wake of this. A wing is in the gully about 100 feet from the plane and sections of the tail are across the street and down a few homes," Burau said.
Terry Marshall was chatting with neighbors in her driveway next to the Griffins' home when the plane crashed.
"It hit our tree and when it hit the big tree it just went nose diving into their backyard," Marshall said. "We saw him coming in and said, 'Boy, he's way too low.'"
She said the group ran over to help as the Jensens were trying to crawl out of the cockpit. Marshall said all three victims were conscious.
The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to arrive this morning to investigate.