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Plane forced to land on highway in Commerce
4 passengers en route to Gainesville all safe
0414 plane
A single-engine Cessna plane rests on U.S. 441 in Commerce after emergency landing because of reported engine and power failure.

A plane en route to Gainesville had to make an emergency landing in Commerce Sunday after the pilot reported “intermittent engine and power failure.”

“They did make a successful emergency landing,” said Commerce Police Chief John Gaissert.

According to Gaissert, the single-engine Cessna plane landed on U.S. 441, about two miles south of I-85, shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday.

The plane’s four male occupants, including two minor children, all escaped with no injuries. Gaissert could not confirm names of the pilot or passengers.

He also did not know if they were from Gainesville.

“They apparently had been to Charleston (in South Carolina), to a Boy Scout event,” Gaissert said. “They were en route from Charleston to Gainesville.”

Gaissert called the successful landing a “miracle of God.”

“It was just a miracle that there were no injuries,” he said. “It was fortunate, with it being church hour on a Sunday and traffic was lower.

“In fact, (the pilot) said when he descended there was a truck, a pick-up truck, that slowed down and moved over and he was able to put it down.”

The pilot told Gaissert that he was unable to make it to the nearby Jackson County Airport.

“The plane was cleared, and it’s ready for transport probably (Monday) or the next day,” Gaissert said. “We’re just very fortunate there were no injuries and he was able to put it down.”

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.