Pilot walks away from plane crash on Interstate 90 at Idaho/Montana state line

Posted at 6:12 AM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 08:12:08-04

SPOKANE – A plane crashed on Interstate 90 at Lookout Pass on Tuesday afternoon near the Idaho/Montana state line, officials confirmed.

A witness said he watched an experimental airplane glide down onto the highway around 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Tim Halbert said he was one of the first people on the scene and waited with the pilot for emergency responders. He said the pilot was experiencing some back pain and had a few bumps and bruises but walked away from the crash. 

"A sheriff’s deputy that was there told him to go buy a lottery ticket," Halbert said.

Halbert said the pilot told him he had caught a downdraft and his engine quit. Halbert said the pilot told him he couldn’t get the engine going again and glided for a long while looking for a place to put the plane down.

"I knew he was in trouble because he was so low," Halbert recalled. "He just kept getting lower and lower and sure enough, he just crashed."

Mineral County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they were responding to the incident, but did not have any further detail.

Montana Department of Transit sent out a notification the eastbound lanes at Lookout Pass on the Montana side are blocked but traffic is able to get through the median. After speaking with a witness, it appears the road closures are as a result of the plane crash.

KREM 2 is still waiting to hear from officials on the pilot’s injuries, but a Halbert said he appeared to be OK.