GAINESVILLE — A small plane crashed in the middle of football tailgaters before the University of Florida game against University of Arkansas this afternoon in Gainesville.
Miraculously, no one died — and only the pilot and a passenger of the plane, which was pulling a Geico banner, were taken to Shands Hospital with treatable injuries, according to authorities.
The Cessna appears to have lost power around 4 p.m., three hours before kickoff.
At the time, numerous RV and tailgaters were arriving where the pilot attempted to land, a usually-empty lot known as Flavet Field.
The plane skidded through a fence into a parking area and crashed into several vehicles, including a pickup truck.
“At this point in time, what we know for sure is the aircraft lost power,” said University Police‘s Maj. Brad Barber. “The nature of the injuries of the pilot and passenger, we do not know, but we do not believe they were life-threatening.”
The crash occurred about half a mile southwest of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, where 90,000 people were expected to watch the game.
Within an hour, unfazed fans fired up the grills and footballs were flying near the carcass of the plane.