SACRAMENTO, CA - Two people were injured after a small plane crashed on a south Sacramento golf course Friday evening.
The crash happened on the Bing Maloney Golf Course at 6801 Freeport Boulevard shortly after taking off from Sacramento Executive Airport around 6:35 p.m.
The pilot was turning around and heading back to the airport when the plane crashed on the golf course.
Michael Dalley and his friend were playing golf at the 13th Tee when they heard the single-engine Piper Cherokee sputter. Dalley said the plane was low and looked like it lost power. He said it looked like the pilot was attempting to land on the fairway, when it turned and crashed into trees. It landed upside down and pieces of the plane were strewn throughout a portion of the golf course.
Dalley estimates he was about 80 yards away when the plane went down.
"It was clearly within our line of fire," Dalley said. "The pilot should get all credit in the world for maneuvering the aircraft without power."
Dalley and his friend immediately rushed to help.
"I could smell smoke. I could smell fuel. So we assessed the situation from there," Dalley said. "But there people in there."
Dalley, his friend and another Good Samaritan pulled both the pilot and passenger out of the plane.
"They were bleeding bad," Dalley said. He also said they in and out of consciousness.
The pilot and the passenger were transported to a nearby hospital to get treatment for non-life threatening injuries.
"It's lucky we're here," Dalley said. "They're going to be able to kiss their kids and wives."
The Sacramento Fire Department said the crash scene was deemed a Level 2 HAZMAT situation because of gasoline leaking from the plane. Fire crews used foam to douse the gasoline in order to prevent it from igniting.
However, before crews arrived, Dalley, who is also a pilot and an Air Force veteran who served in the Gulf War, shut off the fuel and was able to stop the leak.
"I think it's just a miracle," Sacramento Police Sgt. Andrew Pettit said. "Both the pilot and passenger survived and no one on the ground was injured."
Authorities credit rescuers who jumped to help before emergency crews arrived.
But Dalley said he's no hero.
"Goodness no," Dalley said. "I feel like a guy who was trying to take a combined shot out of 13 Tee and didn't want anyone to die today."
The plane was destroyed in the crash. The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash.