UK News Electronic Telegraph
Wednesday August 14 1996
Issue 450

Jet crash actress escapes with cuts
By Barbie Dutter and Kathy Marks

A LEAR JET with three people on board overshot the runway at RAF Northholt yesterday and hit a van on a main road. No one was killed.

The Spanish-registered jet careered through the west London airfield's perimeter fence and on to the A40. The 33-year-old van driver was trapped for 40 minutes in his vehicle but was not seriously injured.

The jet's sole passenger, Lisa Hogan, an Irish model and actress, was slightly hurt, as was the pilot, Santiago Morin, 53. His co-pilot, Jose Rosal, suffered a suspected fractured skull, broken nose and cuts to his face and arms. Miss Hogan, who has a part in John Cleese's new film, Fierce Creatures, was treated for cuts, bruises and shock at Hillingdon hospital.

The twin-engine jet, flying from Palma, Majorca, was landing at about 10am. It broke in two on hitting the van, ending up wrapped around the vehicle on the left-hand lane of the London-bound carriageway as vehicles swerved to avoid it.

Within minutes, police had set up road blocks and diverted traffic. Both carriageways were closed for most of yesterday, causing congestion in west London. RAF firemen covered the wreckage in foam to prevent any leaking fuel from exploding. They then helped the plane crew and passenger into an ambulance while the van driver was cut free.

An air ambulance and four other ambulances were sent to the scene. Division Officer David Robinson, of London Fire Brigade, said: "For anyone to be able to walk away from an aircraft accident on a busy road is nothing short of a miracle.

"The impact would have been devastating. The plane came down on an extremely busy road and we are very fortunate that there were not more casualties. If there had been more fuel on the plane, and more traffic on the road, we would be looking at a very different situation. The nose cone of the plane broke away from the main body. Fortunately, as it was an in-bound flight, there was a minimal amount of aviation fuel around."

The van driver, Gary Jewel, is a salesman for Clive Waldron, an office-seating renovation company in Reading, Berks, and has two daughters. He was detained for observation in Ealing hospital, where he was said to be in a "comfortable" condition, walking and talking.

Dr Mike Browning, who had been flying by helicopter to another accident, was one of the first on the scene. He said: "The plane landed on the runway and then just shot through a fence on to the road. Our pilot just stared and said: 'That plane has just crashed into a van.' We couldn't believe it."

'I noticed something was wrong when it started tipping from side to side quite wildly'

Euan Goddard, 15, from South Ruislip, who was cycling past, said: "I saw a plane coming down and it looked at first as though it was landing. I noticed something was wrong when it started tipping from side to side quite wildly. All of a sudden I heard a big crash. It sounded like metal scraping along the floor. We saw people stopping their cars and getting out. They looked shocked."

The air accident investigation branch of the Department of Transport will hold a formal investigation.

RAF Northolt is used by up to 20 small jets a day avoiding Heathrow and Gatwick. It is used by the Royal Family and senior ministers.

  • Nigel Reynolds, Arts Correspondent, writes: Lisa Hogan has had a meteoric career since leaving her native Dublin six years ago.

    The 6ft 2in 25-year-old has been a friend of John Cleese for five years. She was reported to have ended a three-year relationship with Roger Weatherby, a former amateur jockey and stockbroker, whose family administers racing for the Jockey Club.

    In May, she was the model for eight pages in Tatler before flying to Kathmandu to support the Irish team in the elephant polo championships. She was flying to London to re-shoot scenes in Cleese's sequel to A Fish Called Wanda.

    Miss Hogan, the daughter of a wealthy Irish architect, has worked for Cleese's firm, Fish Productions, for three years. She joined as a researcher and became a production assistant.

    Cleese, who is married to Alyce Faye Eichelberger, a psycho-analyst, has denied reports romantically linking him to Miss Hogan.

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