Pilot and Passenger Rescued After Crashing Into Power Lines; Power Restored to Most Residents

by Patrick Herron

The pilot and passenger of a small plane that crashed into a power line tower near Goshen Road and Rothbury Drive in Gaithersburg/Montgomery Village around 5:30pm on Sunday were successfully rescued without incident by EMS personnel using two specialty crane/boom trucks just after midnight on Monday.  According to Maryland State Police, the pilot was identified as Patrick Merkle, 65, of Washington, D.C. and the passenger was identified as Jan Williams, 66, of Louisiana. Both were transported to the hospital with serious injuries. The plane was also removed from the power lines early Monday morning.

Pepco has announced that it has restored electric service for all 100,000+ customers who were impacted by the incident. Per Pepco: “We are pleased to have assisted @MCFRS  and other local emergency personnel on the effort to safely rescue the individuals who were stranded in the airplane. We have restored electric service for all customers who were impacted by tonight’s incident.”

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has announced that schools will be closed on Monday, November 28th, 2022 due to the widespread power outages that occurred across the county stemming from the plane crash.  All childcare programs are canceled as well. Montgomery College campuses and locations are also closed.



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