MARYLAND CITY, MD -- The pilot of a small plane was taken to University of Maryland Shock Trauma after crashing into two homes in Maryland City Thursday morning.
Anne Arundel County Police said at about 11:20 a.m. that the pilot was "conscious and alert," and that there were no injuries on the ground.
Maryland State Police identified the pilot as Ronald H. Dixon, 70, of the 12000 block of Millstream Drive in Bowie.
Maryland State Police Sgt. Marc Black said that, for unknown reasons, the plane "didn't have enough altitude to clear the shrubbery. It struck a tree," then hit the two houses.
Investigators said they learned that the plane didn't clear the trees by talking to witnesses.
Donald Phillips told Patch he witnessed the crash and that he thought he saw the plane hit a tree before crashing.
"I knew he was going down. I said, 'That plane's going down.'"
"Looks like his right wing hit that pine tree, and it turned the whole aircraft," sending it into the house.
One of the two houses hit by the plane has been deemed "uninhabitable," according to Black. The building inspector was en route to the scene at about 12:30 p.m.
No one was in the house at the time of the crash, according to Black.
Police report Brock Bridge Road is closed at Brock Bridge Elementary School, where the Maryland State Police will be taking questions from media.
The FAA, TSA and National Transportation Safety Board are handling the investigation.
Also on scene are the State Police, Anne Arundel County Police, and Anne Arundel County Fire Department, which handled the fuel spill -- and onlookers. One firefighter had to tell an onlooker at the crash scene to put out a cigarette, for fear of starting a fire.
The area around the crash site remains closed due to the severity of the incident, according to Maryland State Police. The FAA is set to remove the plane for further investigation.
With reporting by Patch Editors Jenni Pompi and Brandie Jefferson.