Ford is at the controls when his two-seat 1940s-era military trainer crashes near Santa Monica Airport in California. Doctors present at the scene give aid while waiting for emergency personnel to transport him to a nearby hospital. Witness:
I was one of the first people to run from the hole toward the plane. Four or five men pulled the pilot out of the plane. They got him away from the plane. They were concerned it would catch on fire. Two doctors were there, and they had a 1st aid box with them. He was conscious, talking a little. He has a HUGE cut on his head. A swath of his skin was missing. There was blood dripping down his face.
Suffering moderate trauma, but “alert and conscious” he is taken to the hospital. Ben Ford, the actor’s son:
Dad is okay, battered but okay. He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man.