Good Samaritan who responded to Wilton plane crash speaks out

Local News

WILTON, Calif. (KTXL) — A Good Samaritan who risked his life to save others at the scene of a fiery plane crash in Wilton is speaking out Friday night.

An engine, a wheel and many charred, twisted pieces of fuselage is all that’s left of an Antonov An-2 single-engine airplane that crashed Thursday in a front yard on Alta Mesa Road.

The fiery crash happened just after 4 p.m., all four people on board — including a pregnant woman —survived with serious injuries.

“Seeing the plane go down and hit. I mean you couldn’t think and blink your eyes fast enough,” said Steve Scharf. “When the plane hit the ground. I hit the side of the road and grabbed the fire extinguisher out of my truck and did what I did.”

Scharf was driving on his way to work when he saw the aircraft quickly lose altitude and crash. He recorded the aftermath, but not before rushing in to help.

Exactly what he did is why community members are labeling him a hero.

“Immediately ran over toward the fence line and engaged the female. I asked how many people are here. She said 4. I counted the two young boys and her,” Scharf said. “That’s when I saw the pilot with the broken leg kind of doing an army crawl out of the fire. That’s when I shot the fire extinguisher in his direction and instructed him to get on his side to get as far away from him before the fuel set fire.”

Investigators with the NTSB are on scene trying to figure out the cause of the crash. They do not yet know where the aircraft was headed, but they do know the plane took off from a private airstrip just a few hundred yards from the crash site.” 

In the surrounding area, there are dozens of homes, which is all the more reason why Scharf is glad the crash did not turn deadly.

“Definitely a miracle the plane landed where it did. I mean there’s a house 100 yards that way and 100 yards that way,” Scharf explained. “There’s power lines 20 feet from where it hit, I mean this problem could have been 100 times worse.”

As he reflected on the events he witnessed, Scharf is glad to hear all involved are recovering in the hospital.

“I’m just super happy that everybody is OK,” he told FOX40. “I’m glad what I did in the moment without even thinking about it worked out. That’s all I can say.”

According to the NTSB, it could take months to determine the cause of the crash.

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