Police ID victims in deadly plane crash

Deadly plane crash in Ocean County
May 18, 2008 10:04:54 AM PDT
State police have identified the two victims of Saturday's deadly small plane crash at the Jersey Shore. The dead are pilot and plane owner John Ambroult, 60, of Eastham, Mass., and 41-year-old Stephen Claussen of Seattle.

Two other passengers were injured when the plane crashed in a heavily wooded area near a small airport in southern Ocean County late Saturday afternoon.

The injured were identified as Jacalyn Brown, 28, of Pemberton and Juan Carlos Salinas, 43, of Mexico City.

No word from state police Sgt. Stephen Jones on the extent of their injuries. State police were able to speak with Salinas after the crash.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, which occurred shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday, said Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Stephen Williams, director of airports for the Delaware River and Bay Authority, which operates the Millville facility, told The Star-Ledger of Newark that the plane was flying as part of a federal study of coastal birds and wind currents along the Jersey Shore, where developers have proposed installing wind turbines.

The two people killed were pronounced dead at the scene, Jones said, while the other two were flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital.

Their injuries initially were described as seriouss.

After receiving reports about the crash, state troopers began an extensive search of the area. With the aid of a medical helicopter, they found the plane in the woods not far from the runway at Eagles Nest Airport in Eagleswood Township, about 25 miles north of Atlantic City.

Peters said someone onboard the Cessna 337 Skymaster used a cell phone to contact someone in Texas who is connected to the operation of the aircraft. The plane had taken off from Millville Airport in Cumberland County about an hour before the crash occurred.

The FAA's flight service station in Leesburg, Va. was then notified of the crash, Peters said.