Trailer loses plane on I-10 near Chaffee

By Crystal Moyer, Morning assignment desk, backup traffic reporter, cmoyer@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:10:15 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 25 2014 06:32:26 PM EDT

It's not something you see every day: a plane on the interstate. But it's just what drivers on I-10 saw this morning. And its owner says he was afraid for those people, not his plane.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A plane on the side of the road made for an unusual site for commuters Wednesday morning on the Westside.

A small bi-plane was left on the side of the road after it detached from the trailer that was towing it overnight, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The plane was located by troopers on the side of I-10 westbound near Chaffee Road Wednesday morning.

Tom Zollinger, the owner, said he didn't notice the plane had detached from the trailer until he got all the way to Baker County. Zollinger said he bought the plane as a retirement gift to himself.

"I don't know how it wound up in the shoulder," he said. "It must be smarter than me."

Zollinger's trying to maintain his sense of humor even though he's extremely disappointed. He drove from Kentucky to Satellite Beach to pick up the miniature aircraft he paid $3,500 for. He also bought the trailer.

"He was tying it down, he had a company tying it down, and everything looked like it was going to be OK for me," Zollinger said.

Zollinger said when he realized the plane had detached, he was most worried about someone getting hurt or killed because of it.

Troopers waited for hours for Zollinger to retrieve the plane. Lanes were not blocked during the incident.

"It could have been a lot worse than it was," FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan said.

He said it happens far too often, drivers losing their load or their trailer altogether. Zollinger could have been held responsible for an accident if someone had been hurt or killed.

"We have documented and worked traffic crashes where the load wasn't attached properly or fell off and caused a very serious death," Bryan said.

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