‘Did that really happen?’: Trucker recounts driving up on I-70 plane crash

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 4:01 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A sight you don’t see every day: a plane making an emergency landing on this section of I-70 in Grain Valley Friday morning.

The Missouri Highway Patrol said a pilot, who had run out of gas and landed his plane on the interstate, was arrested on suspicion of DWI, drug possession, and unlawful possession of a firearm, among other things.

A long-haul trucker was the first person who came up on the crashed plane. Crystal Lipham’s dash cam caught that moment driving up to it.

It was pitch dark, about 2:45 a.m., and the only reason she slowed down with her blinkers on was that she saw the plane flying low above her. She then witnessed it hit the pavement ahead.

“I’ve seen some crazy stuff, trucks barging off the side of the mountain and even a couple of months ago I even caught a car catching on fire in front of my truck,” Lipham said.

She took photos after she got out and saw the plane had spun around and hit a concrete barrier before stopping. Her husband was in the passenger seat.

“I’m still sitting here going, Did that really happen? It’s like, I still can’t wrap my head around how that happened,” she said. “If he was just a few hours later, that whole section of the intersection would have been morning rush and it would have been a totally different story.”

Flight records showed the plane left the downtown airport at 3 a.m. Thursday, landed at Northwest Florida Beaches Airport a little after 12 p.m., then took off heading toward Kansas City at 5:45 p.m. The plane made several stops along the way before crashing near Grain Valley at 2:45 a.m.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s arrest records later identified the pilot as 35-year-old John Seesing of Prairie Village. The highway patrol, along with the FAA and NTSB, is investigating the incident.