Five Killed after Plane Crashes onto New Jersey Interstate

A huge ball of charred metal sat in the middle of the northbound lanes.

 

 
 
 

SAMANTHA HENRY, Associated Press | | Tuesday, December 20, 2011


HARDING, N.J. (AP) — A small plane headed for Georgia crashed Tuesday on one of the New York City area's busiest highways, spiraling out of control and losing a section of the aircraft before hitting the wooded median strip and exploding, sending debris across the roadway. All five people aboard were killed, but no one on the ground was injured.

The New York investment banking firm Greenhill & Co. said two of its managing directors, Jeffrey Buckalew, 45, and Rakesh Chawla, 36, as well as Buckalew's wife and two children, were on the plane that crashed on Interstate 287.

Buckalew was the registered owner of the single-engine plane and had a pilot's license.

Wreckage was scattered over at least a half-mile-wide area, with a section found lodged in a tree of a home about a quarter-mile away, near a highway entrance ramp.

Helicopter footage from News 12 New Jersey showed charred wreckage stretching across the median and the highway, a heavily used route that wraps around the northern and western edges of the New York City area. A huge ball of charred metal sat in the middle of the northbound lanes. Both sides of the highway were shut down.

Law enforcement officials and firefighters searched the woods in the median Tuesday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Socata TBM-700 turboprop had departed from nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. It was headed for DeKalb Peachtree Airport near Atlanta and was registered to an address on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

FAA spokesman Jim Peters said the pilot had requested clearance to a higher altitude. He said that garbled transmission followed, and that the plane then dropped off radar.

Chris Covello of Rockaway Township said he saw the plane spin out of control from the car dealership where he works in Morristown, near the site of the crash.

"It was like the plane was doing tricks or something, twirling and flipping. It started going straight down. I thought any second they were going to pull up. But then the wing came off and they went straight down," he said.

David Williamson, 19, was doing maintenance at a golf course in Morristown when he spotted a plane in trouble, with smoke coming off both sides of the wings.

"It was really scary," he said.

When the plane crashed, he said, it sent up a "huge plume of thick black smoke."

Greenhill & Co. said Buckalew's wife, Corinne, and the couple's two children, Jackson and Meriwether, were traveling with him.

"The firm is in deep mourning over the tragic and untimely death of two of its esteemed colleagues and members of Jeff's family," the company said in a written statement.

Authorities said a dog aboard the plane was also killed.

___

Associated Press writers Shawn Marsh and Beth DeFalco in Trenton contributed to this report.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, plane crash

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

PulsePoint PSA, San Diego

App will allow trained San Diego residents to respond to nearby cardiac arrest c
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Item on Iowa Helicopter Helps Save Patient’s Life

Supply of blood recently added to LifeFlight helicopter.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >