A single-engine plane crashed at Modesto Airport in Northern California with no one on board, officials said Wednesday.
Police said the plane's owner was working on the Beech V35B aircraft and trying unsuccessfully to get it to start. After the owner walked away from the plane, the engine engaged and started rolling down the runway.
Witnesses said the plane took off at speeds of around 40 miles per hour. The aircraft clipped a parked car before crashing into a chain-link fence.
Modesto Police Department Sgt. Mark Phillips told KOVR-TV that the plane changed direction after it hit the vehicle, shifting its path away from an occupied hangar. The fence also prevented the plane from getting onto a busy road near the airport.
"If it was to get over that [grass] and get onto [the road], we would really have had a problem on our hands trying to stop that plane with nobody inside it," Phillips said.
No injuries were reported, but the plane suffered significant damage.