Small plane crash in NJ kills 1

April 3, 2010 4:24:20 PM PDT
One person was killed and another critically injured when a small plane crashed Saturday in northern New Jersey. "So I looked up and here it was, it was crossing right across my street, hitting the trees," described Bill Vogt, a witness to the plane crash.

It was a horrifying sight for Bill Vogt and his 4-year-old son.

They saw the single-engine Cessna moments before it smashed into the ground.

They ran over right away to see if anyone was still alive.

"There was one fatality and one critically injured, flew and medevaced to Morristown. (So we're not sure of his condition?) Not at this time, critical," said Chief Paul Costello of the New Milford Police Department.

61-year-old Arthur Ledenfrost of Park Ridge, New Jersey was killed in the crash.

Witnesses tell Eyewitness News that the survivor was conscious after the crash.

He was even able to tell the rescuers his first name was "Steve".

"He answered with his name, he was saying please help me, please help me, as he was trying to get out of there," described Bill.

The injured man has been identified at 49-year-old Steven Goldstein of Hawthorne.

There was no easy way out.

Bill and his neighbor first had to lift a tree off the center of the plane.

They said just looking at the damage, they knew it was a bad situation.

"It was pretty mangled, the body itself. But, inside it was pretty mangled," explained Joe Chirichella, a witness to the plane crash.

Authorities now say the two men took off from Orange County, New York.

It is not yet known where they were heading.

However West Milford is right near the Greenwood Lake Airport and it's very common to spot quite a few low-flying planes.

"It's real scary because if it came, it was 50 yards closer, that would have went through my house," said Bill.

That is a thought that makes everyone in the area cringe, especially after seeing a plane go down in their own backyard.

No one on the ground was injured and no homes were damaged by the plane, police said.

The FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board and the state Department of Transportation Aviation Division will investigate the crash.