The engine failure of a small aircraft that left Ocean Springs Airport on Saturday afternoon led to an emergency landing…the plane was not even 100 feet in the air before experiencing engine failure that led pilot Christopher Ryan Loepke to land the aircraft on North 12th Street…the plane’s wings struck trees and power lines on its descent, but did not injure any residents in the neighborhood or damage any cars or houses. It crash-landed in the entrance to a residential driveway on North 12th Street.
Loepke and passengers Scott Walker, Dax Pitalo and Roy “Trey” O’Bryant III all were taken to Ocean Springs Hospital with injuries. Hospital officials said Loepke, Pitalo and Bryant were treated and released Saturday. Walker, former Ocean Springs mayoral candidate, was admitted to the hospital but was in good condition Saturday night.
Walker’s father, Bill Walker, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, said his son sustained back injuries in the crash and was undergoing medical tests at the hospital Saturday. Walker, a partner at Maxwell and Walker Consulting Group, formerly worked for Sens. Trent Lott and Thad Cochran.
Leopke made a great landing and SLABBED wishes all a speedy recovery.