EAST FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — A quiet Long Island town became the scene of a deadly plane crash on Sunday.
Four people were aboard a single-engine prop plane when it crashed, and one of them – a passenger – was killed.
The crash site in East Farmingdale is a stone’s throw away from the runway at Republic Airport. The plane had barely crossed the major road there before plunging.
The son of Ed Cerverizzo told CBS 2 the 75-year-old had a passion for flying.
“Everybody loved him, and you couldn’t ask for a better dad,” Mike Cerverizzo said of his father.
Cerverizzo was with three other pilots in the plane when an unknown problem caused it to slam onto residential East Carmans Road in East Farmingdale.
“We saw the plane coming in,” witness Luciano Fernandez said.
The crash happened at about 9 a.m. Saturday, shortly after the plane took off from Republic Airport.
“Once I heard the last boom is when I came out and just went to the plane, and started trying to get the pilot out,” witness Robert Anthony said.
Anthony and a trio of other Good Samaritans rescued a 55-year-old man who was at the controls, along with two other male passengers, an 83-year-old a 61-year-old.
It was too late, though, to do anything for Cerverizzo.
“I mean, I don’t know what I’m going to do without him,” Mike Cerverizzo said.
Cerverizzo owned a fence company in Brooklyn. He’s survived by a wife, two adult children and six grandchildren.
Still rattled by what they witnessed, residents of East Carmans Road surveyed the damage, including the scars on five parked cars.
“The wing lifted the car up, gouging out this part of the car,” one witness said.
Neighbors say they worry this may not be the last plane to crash in the area.
“Is it safe anymore? I don’t think so. They’re practicing out of this airport,” Anthony said. “Is that safe? Maybe not – maybe they should practice somewhere else.”
As the survivors recover in Long Island hospitals, the crashed plane is back at the airport, where it will be inspected by investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board.