At first glance, John Meffert thought the small plane was too low in the sky.
It was about 9:30 a.m. the Friday before last Fourth of July. Meffert was in Orange County, California, driving south on Interstate 405, one of America's busiest highways, ahead of a big getaway weekend.
With the John Wayne International Airport off to his right, Meffert kept driving as the twin engine Cessna continued its descent. Meanwhile, the pilot was radioing the airport tower. "297 mayday! We got mayday!" the pilot yelled to air traffic control. "I lost my right engine!"
"My second glimpse is, 'I think this plane's going to hit me,'" Meffert recalled. "And my third glimpse it is across the front of me, hitting me. All I see is maybe like a white flash."
The wing of the plane skidded across the front of Meffert's vehicle as the aircraft crashed onto the highway and burst into flames -- just feet from the airport's runway. Besides a small dent, the only other damage to Meffert's SUV was a scrape from the left headlight to the one on the right.
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