SYLMAR (CBSLA) — Firefighters say the pilot of a small plane has been killed following a crash in the Sylmar area.

The plane crashed in a field near the 5 Freeway in the 12600 block of Encinitas Avenue on Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters say the unidentified pilot was the only occupant of the Beechcraft A320 single-engine aircraft.

The pilot was trapped in the wreckage.  CBS2’s Brittney Hopper reported firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to free the man.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hopper said the crash could have been worse.

On one side a busy freeway, on the other a neighborhood.

(credit: CBS)

The pilot made a distress call about 1:50 p.m. saying he had to make an emergency landing.

Several Good Samaritans pulled off the freeway to try to help the pilot.

The pilot has been identified as 55-year-old Scott Fraser Watson of Marina del Rey. His ex-wife rushed to the scene but didn’t want to appear on camera. She told Hopper that Watson was the father of three.

Hopper spoke to a man named Steve Martinez. He said the plane literally crashed in his backyard.

“I was just like wow,” he said, “this plane just came down in my backyard.”

He added that it was upsetting.

“It’s pretty sad to see. I  heard someone died. It’s pretty sad to hear. It’s pretty tragic here.”

Martinez is also a father of three. He believes Watson chose the field to avoid hitting cars or houses.

Federal investigators were en route to the crash site to determine the cause of the accident. They were expected to arrive Monday morning.

Watson was reportedly trying to make it to Van Nuys Airport.


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