On 13 July 12 at approximately 9:49 pm, Sarnia Police received a distress call from a male party who advised that he was operating a small plane with four other persons on board. The caller advised that the battery to his radio and navigation equipment had died and that he had lost contact with Toronto Air Traffic Control. The caller advised that he was flying blind in the darkness, did not know where he was and was running out of fuel.
Sarnia Police personnel were able to determine the plane’s location through various land marks and began guiding him to the Sarnia Airport where emergency services were waiting to assist. However, moments later, the pilot advised that he had run out of fuel and was making an emergency landing in the westbound lanes of the 402 Highway. The plane landed on the highway between Oil Heritage Road and Mandaumin Road and had become involved in a minor collision with a motor vehicle. Sarnia Police and Paramedics attended on scene and assisted all the parties involved. Officers also had to deal with the traffic on the highway and were subsequently able to get the plane off of the roadway to a temporary place of safety.
The quick actions of the Sarnia Police Communications staff and the rapid response by the Sarnia Police officers on the road helped prevent what could have been a tragic ending to this incident.
The Ontario Provincial Police subsequently attended and took over the investigation due to the incident taking place outside the Sarnia Police Service jurisdiction.