ORANGE PARK, Fla. — The pilot of a small plane that had crashed into the backyard of a home Tuesday morning in Palatka was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, authorities said.
The plane went down about 11:15 a.m., coming to a final rest in the yard of a home on Oleander Drive off Dogwood Lane, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Richard Jackson, the homeowner where the plane crashed, spoke to First Coast News.
"I was standing in my backyard and all of a sudden I heard what sounded like an explosion," Jackson said. "I looked up and here comes a plane crashing down out of the sky with a parachute behind it. It landed in my backyard."
The pilot, 62-year-old David Thomas of Apex, North Carolina, suffered minor injuries in the crash, troopers said. He was flying from Raleigh, N.C. to Leesburg when he started having engine trouble, according to FHP.
Thomas was forced to deploy his plane's parachute to assist in the landing.
The homeowner says Thomas was released from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon and he told her that the parachute saved his life.