Plane crashes into Connecticut home, ends up in living room

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Small plane crashes into Connecticut home
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Sandra Bookman reports on the plane crash in Connecticut.

GROTON, Connecticut (WABC) -- A small plane crashed into a Connecticut home while en route to a local airport Monday night, but the pilot, a passenger and a man in the house escaped serious jury, state and local officials said.

The plane smashed into the roof of the house on Ring Drive in Groton at about 10:30 p.m., about 2 miles from Groton-New London Airport, police said.

"I heard a big bang," said Art Valdez, who lives across the street. "Woke me out of a dead sleep. I really thought I was dreaming."

Tammy Delacruz, the homeowner's daughter, said her father was watching the Democratic National Convention and got sleepy. If not, he may have still been in the living room where the plane ended up.

"Thank God for the Democratic thing on last night, because he went to the bedroom and fell asleep and he had his door shut," she said "That's the only thing that probably saved him."

The two people on board were able to get out on their own and were taken to be checked out at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital.

One of them told a neighbor they lost power in one engine, though the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The house is on a direct line with the runway at Groton-New London Airport. Valdezt has lived there since the 1970s and knows of at least four plane crashes nearby.

"I sit out here in the back sometimes, and you hear the planes go overhead," he said. "And sometimes you hear a little sputter and you think, 'Please make it. It's only two miles away.'"

Delacruz grew up in that house and already lost her mother and son in the past few years. She is relieved her father just has a sore throat from the fumes from the fuel spill.

"A fear you always have, you just can't even, I have no words," she said. "He feels lucky to be alive, but the reality is that's our family home and the memories. We lost my mom, too, so everything, you know, memories, that's hard."

It's now up to the National Transportation Safety Board to look into exactly how the crash happened, and the investigation could take weeks or even months.

The crash did not cause a fire, but neighboring homes were evacuated as a precaution, police said.

Officials did not say from where the aircraft was coming.

The crash destroyed part of the single-story home's roof, where the plane remained Tuesday morning as local officials waited for investigators from the NTSB to arrive at the scene.


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