Gardnerville man witnesses air races crash |

Gardnerville man witnesses air races crash

Kurt Hildebrand
Tribune news service

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. – A Gardnerville Ranchos resident said he witnessed a fatal crash into the

stands at the National Championship Air Races 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Several casualties have been reported as a result of the crash involving oneof the unlimited aircraft, allegedly at P-51 Mustang.

Jon Wehan said he was 40 feet away when he saw the aircraft shoot straightup into the sky.

“I thought it was a May day,” he said from the parking lot on Friday afternoon. “But he was out of control. He flipped back down and the prop was coming right down on top of us.”

Wehan said the aircraft shifted a little bit and into the stands.

“It hit the stands smack in the middle of all the boxes,” he said. “It just disintegrated. I was 40-60 feet away and you could see the debris coming at you like a video game. I dove behind my friend’s seat.”

He said his friend, Mike, from Southern California was walking up the stairs looking up at the plane when it came down. Neither man was seriously hurt.

“When I looked up all the boxes were gone and there were bodies everywhere,” he said.

He said he was holding up OK until they started seeing the carnage left from the crash.

“For literally 20-30 feet there’s body parts all over the stands,” he said. “There’s a hole in the ground where the plane hit.”

Wehan has lived in Carson Valley for 11 years, coming here from Kirkwood. He said he’s attended the National Championship Air Races dozens of times.

This year he convinced his friend Mike to visit so they could go together.

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