BAYPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A pilot and a passenger were injured when a single-engine airplane heading to upstate New York crashed on a street in a residential area on Long Island shortly after taking off from a nearby airport.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini says the Piper 28 experienced engine trouble and was attempting to return to the Bayport Aerodrome when it clipped a tree and utility lines before crashing at an intersection in Bayport at about 7 p.m. Sunday.

“I was looking out my window and it stalled… he turned around to come back in and he went down. He hit the first pole, twisted around landed and went on fire and stuff,” a witness told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.

Sini says local firefighters rescued the pilot, 34-year-old Scott Clifford, and a passenger from the burning plane. He says Clifford was hospitalized in serious condition with two broken legs and a head injury.

The passenger, identified as 65-year-old Michael Rome, was expected to be OK. No other injuries were reported.

“We were in our house and we heard a big crash. I looked out the window and saw a big, dark cloud of smoke rising to the air. It was kind of short, it didn’t linger,” witness Michael Wikan said.



The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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