Pilot killed in South Carolina plane crash was beloved New Jersey doctor

Darla Miles Image
Friday, July 7, 2023
Pilot killed in SC plane crash was beloved NJ doctor
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Those who knew the pilot who died in the plane crash said he was "the greatest guy" and a doctor who helped so many people. Darla Miles has more.

CALDWELL, New Jersey (WABC) -- Five people that died in a plane crash in South Carolina were all from New Jersey.

The pilot was a doctor from Caldwell and on Thursday his loved ones spoke out about how he will be remembered.

Dr. Joseph Farnese, 66, had owned and flown his single engine piper plane for 20 years. On Sunday morning, just a minute after taking off from a North Myrtle Beach airport, it suddenly went down and burst into flames.

"He was the most conscientious pilot that I've ever seen," said family friend Rick Ricciardelli. "Checks everything, makes sure everything's perfect, the plane is service regularly."

Ricciardelli said Farnese was the greatest guy he had ever known.

Farnese was returning from a fishing trip when he and four other passengers were killed in the crash.

Tanique Chue, 32, and her 7-year-old son Sean Gardener and Suzette Coleman-Edwards, 42, and her 17-year-old child Odaycia Edwards all live in East Orange but are originally from Jamaica.

It was not immediately known what the relationship was between Farnese and the other victims, but the beloved internal medicine physician was known to fly patients, relatives and friends down to his Myrtle Beach condo.

"Kind, caring, helpful. This man did things for people nobody knows. I've known him for 40 years," Ricciardelli said.

The president of Thomas Edison University released a statement identifying Chue as a nursing student.

"It is with a heavy heart that I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tanique Chue, a committed and caring TESU student in our Accelerated Nursing Program. Alongside Tanique, we mourn the loss of her 7-year-old son, Sean Gardner."

At Farnese's office in Little Falls, he is being remembered not for being a doctor to his patients, but as their friend.

"We had to come here the day it happened, we had to call all his precious patients... they just dropped the phone," receptionist Josephine Cusumano said. "He helped so many people. And I need the world to know that, he helped so many people. So many."

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash.

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