Pilot hurt as small plane crashes near downtown Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A small plane crashed into a railroad overpass east of downtown Spokane, critically injuring the pilot.

Witness Curtis Neal told the Spokesman-Review that the plane banked left, appeared headed toward a building, and then banked right before it crashed.

Neal said he ran over and tapped on the window, but the pilot didn't respond, so he broke the window in an effort to free the man, who was suspended upside-down.

Two Spokane police officers arrived, and one of them cut the seat belt. The pilot was rushed to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in critical condition.

A fire official said the single-engine Piper Malibu struck a railroad viaduct over North Erie Street and fell to the ground.

The plane is registered in Canada.

It took off from Felts Field, a public airport in Spokane, and lost power a short time later.