Irish actress injured after jet crashes on busy road

 

ACCIDENT investigators are trying to find out why a business jet carrying an Irish actress tore through an airfield fence and crashed into a van on a busy dual carriageway near London.

The actress, Lisa Hogan (25), had a dramatic escape yesterday after the plane in which she was a passenger overshot the runway at RAF Northolt in west London and crashed into a van on a nearby dual carriageway.

Lisa Hogan was the only passenger in the Spanish Learjet 25 plane, and was flying into London to rehearse a role in a new John Cleese film. She is the step-daughter of Mr Raymond Keaveney, director of the National Gallery in Dublin, who is married to her mother, Ms Arlene Hogan.

The aircraft was landing at Northolt from Palma in Majorca just before 10 a.m. yesterday when it "ran out" of runway and tore through an airfield fence on to the A40 dual carriageway, the connecting road between the M40 motorway and London which runs by the airfield's perimeter fence.

The plane, with over 50 litres of fuel in its tank, struck a van and broke in two.

The driver of the van was airlifted by helicopter to Ealing Hospital in west London where he was treated for cuts and bruises. A spokeswoman described his injuries as "thankfully, not serious" and said he would remain in hospital for "possibly another few days".

Ms Hogan, a former student at Alexandra College, Dublin, was taken to Hillingdon Hospital and treated for shock and cuts and bruises, including an injury to her leg. She left the hospital later in the afternoon and was "basically OK", according to a film company spokeswoman. Both the pilot and copilot, who suffered severe cuts, were also taken to Hillingdon. The van driver escaped with cuts and bruises after being cut free from the wreckage.

Mr David Early, the pilot of a hospital helicopter from nearby Beckenham Hospital, was one of the first on the scene.

"How on earth a plane that size didn't cause more damage I don't know. If it had landed six feet either way then the passenger in the plane would have been killed or even the pilots," he said.

"It was a mess when I arrived and I think that everyone involved was extremely lucky."

Ms Hogan was on her way to London to rehearse a scene in a new John Cleese film, Fierce Creatures, which reunites the stars of his 1988 hit comedy A Fisk Called Wanda, including himself, Michael Palin, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline. Ms Hogan plays Sky, an assistant sealion-keeper.