Clipped Power Lines Delay Trolley Commute

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A pilot was trapped for about 30 minutes after a small plane crashed near Gillespie Wednesday morning. (Published Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010)

    A small plane crashed into trolley power lines Wednesday, forcing the closure of two East County Trolley Stations, according to the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS).

    The pilot crashed around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday just north of the airport. He was taking off when he reported mechanical problems and turned around to land, according to El Cajon police Lt. Mark Coit. In the process, the plane clipped the trolley line, flipped over and landed in the street.

    Pilot Trapped in Small Plane Crash: Raw

    [DGO] Pilot Trapped in Small Plane Crash: Raw
    A pilot was trapped for about 30 minutes after a small plane crashed near Gillespie Wednesday morning. (Published Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010)

    As a result, Green Line Trolley service will end at Gillespie Field through Thursday, according to MTS spokesperson Natalie Wardel.

    However, Rob Schupp with MTS said progress is being made in restoring service on the Green Line at Santee Town Center, but he can't say for sure when it will be ready for use.

    Shcupp said over 2,000 feet of electrical wire was clipped by the plane crash yesterday.  And a piece of equipment that provides power to the trolley cars was also damaged.  Overnight, that piece of equipment was fixed and today workers will start re-installing it.

    Just under 1,000 people use the Santee Town Center trolley stop every day.  For now Schupp is encouraging people to start their commute at the Gillespie Field stop, and busses will act as a go-between to the next station.

    Riders choosing to take a bus bridge should allow for extra time for the transfer.

    The pilot was conscious and talking with authorities immediately after the crash according to San Diego County sheriff's deputies. He was trapped for about 30 minutes before firefighters pulled him from the plane and placed him on a stretcher. He has non-life threatening injuries.

    Officials said the pilot, described as a 79-year old North County resident, had reported problems closing the windshield.

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