Pilot Avoids Houses In Henderson, Nevada Crash


One person was killed and at least three were badly injured Monday when a Piper PA32-RT-300 Lance made an emergency landing on a Henderson, Nev., city street after an apparent engine failure. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sgt. John Sheahan told local media that two men and two women were aboard the Lance, which had just departed Henderson’s Executive Airport around 8 a.m. on Monday. Pilot Douglas Touchet, 45, of Erath, La., died. His wife and the two others, also from Louisiana, were hurt. The group was apparently heading home after a long weekend in Las Vegas. Henderson is just south of Las Vegas. Police said no one on the ground was injured, perhaps because the pilot pointed the airplane away from houses. “I think we can attribute that to the pilot trying to put it down in a safe place,” he said. “You’re talking the plane crashed maybe 20 or 30 feet (from the nearest home),” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sgt. John Sheahan said.

The accident left a debris field a block long and one wing came to rest in the backyard of a home, Sheahan said. Witness Robert Sutton told KLAS-TV that the aircraft came to rest inverted and he and he and other residents doused the flames with hoses before righting it to assist the victims trapped inside. The aircraft evidently struck two block walls, a streetlight pole and a tree before landing in the street. “It appeared the way the aircraft was lined up that he did try to land on the road itself. On first blush it looks like he did try to do some kind of maneuver to get down as safely as he could,” police Lt. Joe Ojeda told the Las Vegas Sun. Survivors were taken to University Medical Center with life-threatening burns. Their identifies were not released.