CINCINNATI (FOX19) - I-75 northbound reopened Thursday night following the crash of a small plane near Ronald Reagan Highway.
The single-engine Beechcraft was moved to the ramp from I-75 north to Galbraith Road so it remains closed.
The plane was forced to make an emergency landing on the expressway around 11:20 a.m., according to Cincinnati Police Lt. Chris Ruehmer.
Police say the pilot has been identified as John Bennett, 61, of Indianapolis. He was able to get out of the plane safely.
He remained on the scene to help with the investigation, according to Cincinnati police.
They say Bennett lost power to the plane’s single-engine.
There was no fire, just significant structural damage to the plane, Lt. Ruehmer said.
It did not hit any vehicles on I-75.
Traffic on northbound I-75 was diverted at Ronald Reagan Highway for more than six hours.
“It was like out of the blue. We did not expect that,” witness Mikel Emery said. “The plane was coming through the trees. He hit the pole, spent out of control, and hit the highway wall across the highway.”
Emery’s family initially feared for their lives, “We thought it was over because we were so close,”.
Lt. Ruehmer says he was told the pilot was coming from Indianapolis and he was taking his plane to Lunken Airport for maintenance.
The plane is owned by Mel Aviation LLC out of Indianapolis, according to the FAA.
Police say it’s a 1996 Beechcraft Bonanza A36 that seats six.
Aviation expert Jay Ratliff told FOX19 NOW the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, will conduct an investigation that will likely take months to complete.
“They’ll be looking at the fuel, to see if there were any fuel contaminants, along with the mechanical situation of the aircraft. And again, It’s going to take a great deal of time for them to determine what took place,” Ratliff said.
During the investigation, they will also take a long look at the pilot himself.
“They’ll basically have medical tests to make sure the pilot was not under the influence of any medication or anything like that that might have impaired his ability to fly," Ratliff said.