A pilot who landed his plane on a Missouri highway early Friday after running out of fuel was arrested for allegedly flying while intoxicated, authorities said.
Troopers responded to reports of a small plane blocking the westbound lanes of I-70 near the Kansas City suburb of Grain Valley around 3 a.m. local time.
“Interstate 70 (westbound lanes) BLOCKED by an AIRCRAFT!” Missouri State Highway Patrol tweeted while warning commuters to expect delays.
The plane managed to avoid hitting any vehicles but had a “minor collision” with a guardrail, Missouri State Highway Patrol said. The pilot, who was the only person on board, suffered minor injuries, it said.
Authorities determined that the plane had run out of fuel when the pilot radioed in and made an emergency landing on the highway.
The pilot, identified by authorities as 35-year-old John Seesing was arrested after he was “found to be intoxicated,” Missouri State Highway Patrol said.
Sgt. Andy Bell, a public information officer for Missouri State Highway Patrol, said troopers suspected impairment by a combination of alcohol and drugs.
Missouri State Highway Patrol records show that Seesing, of Prairie Village, Kanas, was arrested on charges including DWI, careless and imprudent driving involving a crash, felony possession of a controlled substance, felony unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
Seesing was treated at a local hospital for his injuries and underwent blood testing in connection with the charges, Bell said. He has since been released, he said.
It is unclear if Seesing has an attorney.
The single-engine Piper plane was towed from the scene and all lanes on the highway had reopened by 5:30 a.m.
Troopers believe the pilot was flying from Florida to the Kansas City Downtown Airport.
Flight Aware records show the plane left the Kansas City area early Thursday morning before arriving in Daytona Beach, Florida, then started making its way back toward the Kansas City area later that night.
The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating the incident.