Disabled plane skirts Florida tailgaters before skidding into trees

Oct. 6, 2013 at 12:10 PM

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Oct. 6 (UPI) -- University of Florida football fans said they were stunned to see a small plane crash land into a cluster of oak trees during their pre-game tailgate parties.

Two people who were aboard the single-engine plane, which was towing an advertising banner, were injured in Saturday's crash but were expected to recover, The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun said.

Witnesses told The Sun the plane appeared to be having engine trouble and was able to touch down away from the main parking area at Pressly Stadium.

"He was trying to restart it and it wouldn't restart," Charlie Miller, 14, Atlanta, said. "He touched down in the field by some RVs. He was going way too fast to stop, so he continued into the trees."

Fans credited the pilot, 28-year-old Graham Hill, with avoiding a dormitory and some light poles and setting the plane down in a relatively empty strip of land used for RV parking.

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