In a rare incident, a pilot and his passenger in a small single-engine plane struck a pair of elk just moments after touching down on an airstrip on the Oregon Coast.
Pilot Todd Rudberg, 49, and his passenger Valeria Villacin, 43, had just touched down at the Nehalem Bay State Park airstrip at 5:14 p.m. Saturday. It was just moments after that an elk darted out in front of the plane and was struck by the small vessel. In an effort to avoid contact with the animal, the plane’s pilot attempted to relaunch the plane to avoid the animal but was unsuccessful.
Moments after contact with the original elk, a second one emerged onto the runway and was also struck by the plane’s left wing. As the plane spun out of control on the airstrip after the collisions, it finally came to a stop. Both of the elk were dead, but both of the plane’s passengers remained unscathed from the incident.
The plane itself, on the other hand, was totaled according to police. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is currently investigating the incident and has since closed the airstrip for the time being.