The pilot's words after the crash, told by a Clinton man who ran to help

Neighbor describes running to help pilot after crash

CLINTON, MD (WUSA9) - “It was crazy,” said Patrick Dodson, who told WUSA9 he was on his front porch when heard an odd sound and looked up.

“I heard this ‘whoop-whoop’ noise … and there was a jet and I see the jet and then all of a sudden, the front of it exploded. And then he shot out of the jet and then the jet came down towards the houses and I yelled, ‘Get out the house, get out the house!’ cause it was really coming down towards us,” he said.

RELATED: Pilot 'did all he could' before plane crashed near Joint Base Andrews

Dodson said his sister-in-law and mother were inside at the time.

Dodson lives near Dalmatia Drive and Maui St., an area that now appears to be the investigation command center. Military members, the Red Cross, Prince George’s County Fire and Police have set up shop there with fixed spotlight.

Dodson lives in the blocked-off area. He went on to say after first thinking his family was in danger, he then ran into danger, but kept moving toward the pilot as the parachute got closer-and-closer to the ground.



“The plane explode,” Dodson said, “but when it exploded, bullets started flying everywhere. Shrapnel was going everywhere. I had a piece stuck in my thumb. Once the bullets stopped, I then ran towards the pilot again.”

RELATED: Audio transcript of emergency response to plane crash 

“I found him about a mile into the woods in a field and I walked up to the pilot and said, ‘Are you okay sir?’ He didn’t respond to that. The first thing he said to me was, ‘Are all the houses okay? Is everyone okay?,” Dodson recalled. 

Dodson says he firmly shook the pilot’s hand and assured him everything was fine. The Clinton dad described having nothing but respect for the pilot and how he maneuvered his fighter jet in this populated area.

He hopes to meet the pilot one day. In the meantime, Dodson and other neighbors told WUSA9 the investigation command center may be blocking their streets for a few days.

Clinton Grove Elementary was placed on lockdown when the crash happened but everything is expected to open and continue as normal on Thursday, says a Prince George’s County Public Schools Spokesperson.

RELATED: Military says mechanical failure likely cause of F-16 crash

A Red Cross Spokesperson told WUSA9 they are assisting with food for the first responders and military personnel now investigating the scene.

Mark Brady, the Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Spokesperson, said all of their evacuations put in place during the time of the crash have since ended.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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