A Cessna T303 crashed into a two-story house in Union Vale, New York, Saturday afternoon killing the pilot and one resident inside the house. According to State police Capt. Paul DeQuarto the plane experienced engine trouble before crashing into the residence on South Smith Road near Poughkeepsie.
“Crashes like this highlight the fact that aviation safety affects everyone, not just those on board an aircraft,” said Mike Andrews, a Beasley Allen lawyer who focuses much of his practice on aviation accident litigation. He has represented people seriously injured in aviation crashes, and the family of those killed in both civilian and military airplane crashes and helicopter crashes. “As this investigation develops, we will hopefully uncover the cause and what could have been done to avoid this tragedy.”
Francisco Knipping-Diaz was piloting the plane and died at the crash scene. His passengers, Eduardo Tio and Teofilio Antonio Diaz Pratt sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The plane departed Shy Acres Airport in LaGrangeville and was headed to Republic Airport in Farmingdale, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
There were three residents in the home at the time of the crash. Gerard Bocker died inside the home, while Hannah Bocker was critically injured, and Sarah Bocker sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
A neighbor, Rick Plambeck, who witnessed the crash said the plane was on the back porch and the house was completely engulfed in flames. Plambeck said he saw a woman in the house jump out of a window and onto a ladder with her dog. Two 4-month-old golden retriever puppies and a Newfoundland have been reported missing since the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the crash.