Two US Navy pilots were badly injured when they ejected from their training jet before it crashed in a residential neighborhood in Texas — damaging three homes and leaving three residents with minor injuries, according to reports.
Emergency responders in Lake Worth, about eight miles northwest of Fort Worth, responded about 11 a.m. Sunday to the crashed T-45C Goshawk, whose pilot and student had parachuted, NBC DFW reported.
One was flown to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where he was listed in critical condition, and the other was taken by ambulance to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, the Fort Worth Fire Department said.
Two off-duty firefighters who witnessed the crash “were first on scene to provide assistance to the injured pilots,” the department said in a statement.
One pilot was discovered stuck in power lines with his chute, while the other was found in a nearby neighborhood, Lake Worth Police Chief JT Manoushagian said, according to NBC DFW.
“We are incredibly fortunate that the plane crashed in the backyards of the homes and not the residences themselves,” the Fire Department said.
The jet, assigned to Training Air Wing 2 at Naval Air Station Kingsville, was conducting a training flight from the Corpus Christi International Airport when it came down about a mile north of the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, according to NBC DFW.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Nearby neighbors Monica Wilson had just taken her grandchildren inside from the back yard when she heard the crash, the Star-Telegram reported.
“I’m still hearing it now. It’s not something that I’ll be able to forget,” Wilson told the paper hours later, adding that she and her husband saw the flight suit of the pilot who became entangled in the power line catch fire.
Rey Martinez, another neighbor on Dakota Trail, said he stepped outside when he heard the noise.
“When I came out, I saw the smoke, so I followed the smoke and that’s when I saw the plane on fire,” Martinez told the Star-Telegram, adding that he and another resident soon noticed something on the power lines.
“We saw something hanging and [said], ‘Hey, I think that looks like a parachute or something.’ We went over there, the guy was still on the ground. He was on fire,” he said.
Paramedics put out the flames using fire extinguishers from a nearby doughnut shop, Martinez said.
Meanwhile, resident Kaitlyn Deramus said she went to help her neighbors, one of whom was paralyzed, because she knew they’d need help getting out.
“I knew there are old ladies in that house that it happened at and I was banging on their door but they wouldn’t come out because they thought it was just a car, so I grabbed them out,” Deramus told NBC DFW.
“The house behind that, I ran over to the next street and got that lady out of that house because she’s paralyzed and she needed to get out,” she said. “I’m having anxiety, but all I wanted to do was save those old ladies because I’ve known them since I was really, really, little. They’re OK — physically.”