Mugo Odgiwe reporting

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Two people were transported to a local hospital after a small aircraft crashed into the American River. It happened just before noon, east of Interstate 5 and Discovery Park.

“When he went by the first time, you could tell the engine was struggling,” said David Heyd who saw the plane fly by twice. “When they had turned around and came back by I thought what is he going to do, fly underneath the I-5 bridge.”

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He said seconds later, it crashed.

“I heard the motor quit and then bam it hit the water,” he said.

That’s when a man emerged.

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“By the time he had gotten out and was able to talk, five or six minutes had elapsed,” he said.

When the Sacramento Fire Department arrived on scene they found the plane near Discovery Park.

“There was a man and a woman present in the aircraft. The man was able to get out under his own power,” said Sacramento Fire public information officer, Keith Wade.

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He added that fire crews had to get the woman out.

“She has some significant injuries, as well as the man, did as well. They both needed to be transported quickly, rapidly,” he said.

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The plane is a light-sport aircraft designed to land and take off from the water. Officials say it was conducting maneuvers in and around the water. It was going to land and then take off, but for some unknown reason, it crashed into the water.

Wade said that their concern now is securing any fuel or oil that may have leaked into the water.

“Wildlife is always something that we’re concerned about with something like this so all the special precautions are being made at this time,” Wade said.

As for David, “I did what I could. I kinda feel bad that I wasn’t able to do anything,” he said.

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The extent of the man and woman’s injuries are unknown at this time.