NEWPORT, Ore — A small plane piloted by Newport's mayor crashed during an emergency landing on the Oregon coast Monday evening.
Mayor Dean Sawyer, 66, and two passengers were injured in the crash. Deborah Reasoner, 61, of Molalla, suffered serious injuries. She was airlifted to a Portland hospital.
Sawyer and the other passenger, a 7-year-old child from Molalla, suffered minor injuries.
According to Oregon State Police, Sawyer took off from the Newport airport around 4:30 p.m. and flew around the Depoe Bay area. While flying near Newport, Sawyer noticed a mechanical problem and tried to return to the Newport airport.
Sawyer realized the plane would not make it, police said, so he attempted an emergency landing on the beach.
The plane crashed on the north side of the jetty in Newport, near the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, around 5:10 p.m.
Sawyer has had his pilot's license for over 40 years and has been flying the plane that crashed, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk II, for over 30 years, according to police.
In a Facebook post, Sawyer said he was home resting with torn cartilage in his chest. He asked for prayers for his passenger, Reasoner, and thanked the emergency responders who helped at the crash scene.