Contact Us

Plane Crash Lands After Takeoff at Victoria Regional Airport

Victoria Advocate

When Tara Snell felt the ground beneath her shake and when she heard a rumbling sound in the air, she wasn’t alarmed.

The deafening whoosh of planes landing and departing isn’t new to her. After all, she works right next to the airport.

Saturday morning wasn’t any different at the Dorothy O’Connor Pet Adoption Center where she works – until the receptionist gasped over the intercom, demanding all workers to rush to the lobby.

A small white plane with a crisp blue stripe crashed in the open field across the road from the office.

“We all just took off running (toward the plane),” Snell said.

Outside the aircraft, a man was lying in the grassy field. Another man was trying to pull himself out of the plane and was bleeding.

The pilot was stuck inside the plane.

By the time the group ran across the field to the plane, one of the passengers was drifting in and out of consciousness.

The light utility corporate aircraft carrying three men crashed about 10 a.m. in a field near the Victoria Regional Airport, said Trooper Jesse Ray Chavana of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Jose Acosta said he had never encountered a plane crash before, but when he saw how the men needed help, instinct just kicked in.

He knew he had to help. “It didn’t look good,” he said.

Some of the adoption center workers ran back to the office to get water, but Acosta wasn’t going to leave the injured men’s sides.

He had to keep them talking. “I didn’t want to hear silence,” he said.

Injured were pilot Burnl Wilkerson, 58, of Houston, and passengers Sajib Rupollia, 30, of California, and Daniel Nghien, 50, of Houston.

All three men were transported to Citizens Medical Center.

Wilkerson was later flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Rupollia was flown to University Hospital in San Antonio, and Nghien was treated and released, said hospital spokeswoman Shannon Spree.

Roland Herwig, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Oklahoma City, said the plane’s engine lost power soon after it departed the Victoria airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

Keith Holloway, a spokesman for the NTSB, said the investigation would take weeks, if not months, to complete and that additional information was not available Saturday.

The fixed-wing multi-engine aircraft, which was manufactured in 1974, is registered to a Wyoming company, according to the FAA.

Hours after the crash, the workers were still visibly shaken but happy they were around to help the men.

“I was just doing what I could,” Acosta said.

More From 106.9 The Rock

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://1069therock.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on KLUB 106.9 The Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on KLUB 106.9 The Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!