NEHALEM BAY STATE PARK, Oregon — A small plane landing on a remote airstrip on the Oregon coast was nearly destroyed when it slammed into two elk on the runway, killing both creatures.
Oregon State Police say Todd William Rudberg, 49, of Shoreline, Washington, had touched down Saturday at the Nehalem Bay State Park when an elk darted out onto the runway.
Rudberg sped up and attempted to lift his 2003 Vans Aircraft Model RV8, single engine, fixed wing plane back into the sky and over the elk, but clipped the creature with his propeller and right landing gear, killing it.
Then, police say a second elk ran out into Rudberg’s path and was struck by the plane’s left wing. The animal was also killed.
The plane spun out on the runway and was completely destroyed, but neither Rudberg or his passenger, Valerie Villacin, 43, of Seattle, were injured.
Police say that a large quantity of elk meat was salvaged by responding fish and wildlife troopers.