NORCROSS, Ga. (AP) _ A single-engine airplane was abandoned beside Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County on Monday after it apparently ran out of fuel.

Gwinnett County police, who found the plane after it was reported by a citizens band radio operator at 3:20 a.m., searched for nearly three hours before tracking down one of the two occupants, said police spokesman Bob Clark.

Walter Cass of Lebanon, Tenn., told authorities that he and the pilot, whom he identified as Bill Johnson, took off from Fulton County's Charlie Brown Airport about 2 a.m. Cass said Johnson panicked when the plane ran out of gas, and Cass landed it on I-85, Clark said.

Cass said he walked to a hotel and called a taxi but Johnson fled on foot, Clark said. Police have been unable to locate Johnson, he added.

The Federal Aviation Administration plans to investigate.