Blue Angels Jet Crashes, Killing Pilot in South Carolina
A Navy F-18 Blue Angel plane crashed during an air show Saturday, plunging into a small neighborhood of homes and trailers and killing the pilot.
Witnesses said the planes were flying in formation during the show at the Marine Corps Air Station and one dropped below the trees and apparently crashed, sending up clouds of smoke.
Raymond Voegeli, a plumber, was backing out of a driveway when the plane ripped through a grove of nearby pine trees, dousing his truck in flames and debris.
"It was just a big fireball coming at me," said Voegeli, 37. "It was just taking pine trees and just clipping them."
He said wreckage hit "plenty of houses and mobile homes." Other witnesses said metal and plastic, some of it on fire, peppered the neighborhood and that one mobile home was destroyed. The witnesses were unsure whether that home was occupied.
John Sauls, who lives near the crash site, said the planes were banking back and forth before one disappeared, and a plume of smoke shot up.
"It's one of those surreal moments when you go, 'No, I didn't just see what I saw,' " Sauls said.