Carlsbad CA— At 3:13 this afternoon July 4, 2015, Carlsbad Police and Fire were dispatched to reports of a plane down on the beach north-west of the Encina Power Plant just north of the jetty.
Carlsbad residents and Valley Middle Schools students Carson, 13 and Titus 12 were in the water surfing when they heard the plane in trouble. “We saw the plane and it was making this popping sound” said Carson ” A few seconds later it dropped the banner it was towing and started coming back towards us.” Carson continued “we saw he was going to land on the beach.”
“We started yelling for everyone to get off the beach, that there was a plane going to land but people didn’t realize it at first.” Titus said.
The two were surfing with a friend, Nicholas, and they were yelling at him to get out of the way. “He was falling backwards trying to get out of the way.” said Carson “He didn’t make it and this big wave crashed over him causing this big white barrier of water between us and him.” continued Carson “When he came up, his face was all covered in blood.”
Carlsbad resident Melanie Taranto was at the beach with her family when she heard the plane sputter, saw it drop the banner and head back towards them. “My friend and I were yelling clear the beach, clear the beach. The plane was coming low and went right over both our daughters who were in the water. It just missed them.” Melanie continued “But there was a friend of ours boy and it looked like when the plane flipped, it may have clipped the boy in the forehead. My husband, Anthony, rushed over, held the boy and closed the gash on his head until paramedics arrived.”
Melanie said the paramedics, fire department, lifeguards were there in “it felt like seconds. They were so incredible.”
Titus said “It was a really scary situation for us. It all just felt like a dream but they told us we will be able to see our friend tomorrow.”
Titus estimated that there were about 350 people on the beach. Carson said “There were a lot more people over here. I don’t know how they left so fast.”
The injured teen was transported to Rady’s Childrens Hospital with minor injuries. The pilot was uninjured in the incident.