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ERIE TOWNSHIP – Two men were injured Saturday after escaping from a plane that crashed into the Portage River, according to the Sandusky Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

James Raymond Lenardson, 72, of Bonita Springs, Florida and Leo Joseph Eggert Jr., 67, of Perrysburg, were both transported by Port Clinton EMS to Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton with what officials termed as minor injuries.

The incident occurred at approximately 4:13 p.m. The plane crashed into the
Portage River near 4640 W. Harbor Rd. in Ottawa County.

According to the Patrol, Lenardson was piloting a 2003 Cessna 206 seaplane, while Eggert was the passenger in the plane.

Lenardson piloted the plane eastbound on the Portage River attempting to take off. As he began his initial ascent, the craft struck a power line. The plane lost control and crashed into the Portage River, the Patrol reported.

Both Lenardson and Eggert were able to exit the plane as it began to sink and eventually reached shore.

An Ohio Edison high voltage power line was knocked down with part of it laying in the river and another across a cottage at The Resort at Erie Landing.

Ohio Edison responded to the scene to de-energize the power line.

Rescue Marine was contacted to retrieve the plane from the river.

According to a press release from the Patrol, alcohol and/or drug use are not believed to be a factor at this time.

The crash remains under investigation.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted on the scene by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, Erie Township Fire, Port Clinton EMS, Ohio Edison, FAA, and the NTSB.