Another dead in small plane crash on LI

August 19, 2012 8:28:49 PM PDT
A small plane carrying three people plummeted into a residential neighborhood on Long Island on Sunday in a fiery crash, killing one of those aboard as neighbors tried to douse the flames with fire extinguishers and garden hoses, authorities and witnesses said.

Police are now saying Jane Unhjem, one of the occupants of the plane, has died of her injuries.

A neighbor captured on his cell phone the seconds after the plane hit the ground bursting into flames.

Debra Sapienza ran outside and saw neighbors trying to help. The woman whose yard the plane landed in had a garden hose and was trying to put out the fire.

Neighbors pulled two victims - a man and a woman - out of the plane. Erik Unhjem, 61, and Jane Unhjem, 60, of Goshen, New York, were severely burned and taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center where they were listed in serious condition.

The pilot didn't make it, he was pronounced dead at the scene. A yellow tarp covered his body at the crash site. He was apparently alive when neighbors first got to him - he died minutes later - burned beyond recognition.

It's unclear what caused the single engine propeller plane to crash less than a mile from where it had taken off at Brookhaven airport around 11:45 this morning.

Jeff Castaldo heard the last frantic moments from the air traffic tower. He was at the airport this morning with his son who had a flight lesson. "Over the aviation tower radio we heard one of the instructors saying whoever just took off check their carburetor temperature, shut it down. And then five seconds later we heard plane down plane down."

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