ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - A small, single-engine plane went down off of Highway 364 in west St. Louis County early Thursday morning, blocking eastbound traffic near the Creve Coeur Airport for part of the morning commute.
The plane crash occurred around 5 a.m. Firefighters responding to the scene said the plane was engulfed upon their arrival, but the pilot managed to get out of the plane before it caught fire. No one else was in the plane.
The pilot, identified as 48-year-old James Turner of Chesterfield, was able to talk to authorities about the crash.
Authorities said the plane took off from Creve Coeur Airport around 4:45 a.m. with an approved flight plan. A mechanical problem involving the cargo door forced Turner to return to the airport and attempt to land. The engine failed, and Turner had to guide the plane down without power.
Turner, who owns the plane, was going to Hopkinsville, Kentucky to pick somebody up and bring them back to St. Louis. He was taken to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur and listed in satisfactory condition.
The westbound lanes of Highway 364 were reopened a short time after the crash, but eastbound lanes were kept closed a little longer.