DEA Officials Crash Plane In Texas Neighborhood

SUGAR LAND, TX — The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash of a small single-engine Cessna aircraft in a Sugar Land neighborhood that was being piloted by DEA officials. Officials said the plane crashed at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of McKiney Falls and Voss Road, just west of State Highway 6.

Witnesses said the small plane lost power and smashed through power lines and crashed into two cars as the pilot attempted to land on a street near a residential area of Sugar Land.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said one person who was in the plane suffered minor injuries in the crash. He was taken to an area hospital and is expected to be fine. Two others who were also in the plane were not hurt.

Alfredo Avilez, 25, lives just a couple of streets over from the crash site and was in his backyard with his dogs when saw the plane pass over his home.

Avilez said he heard the plane flying low and noticed it was making a strange noise as it passed overhead.

“It sounded weird and I saw the last two seconds of it,” Avilez told Patch. “I heard a loud boom. It was just crazy. I have never seen anything like this.”

Immediately after the crash, Avilez said he heard four to five successive explosions from transformers hit by the aircraft, which knocked out power to homes in the area.

Officials said the occupants in the plane experienced engine failure as they were passing over the neighborhood, and chose a long street without homes to try and land the plane. Nehls called the pilots actions “heroic.”

“It was the closest place to land,” Nehls said. “For him to be able to place that aircraft in the middle of the street, [it’s] very fortunate that he didn’t strike a house. This could have been much worse.”

Officials declined to comment on why the DEA was flying in the area.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Stay with Patch for more on this developing story.

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Image: Fernando Alfonso/Patch Staff

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Fernando Alfonso contributed to this report

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