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Two Dead Following Fiery Small Plane Crash In Eastern Long Island

SHIRLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) - A second person has been pronounced dead after a small plane carrying three people crashed in the eastern Long Island town of Shirley on Sunday morning, authorities said.

1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reports


1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reported that the pilot was trapped in the fiery wreckage and killed.

Neighbor Ed Finnegan told D'Auria he was reading his morning newspaper when the plane went down.

"I heard the crash and then I hopped in my truck, drove over there, and it was completely engulfed in flames," Finnegan told D'Auria.

Neighbors used garden hoses to put out the flames coming off the plane, D'Auria reported.

Finnegan said he knew the plane was flying too low, but credited the pilot for preventing greater catastrophe.

"The plane somehow managed to go between two houses and not hit them and hit the tree in front of the house, and came down on the street. It's unnerving," he said.

Riding in the plane at the time of the crash were Erik Unhjem, 61, and his wife Jane, 60, of Goshen, New York. The couple was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center.

Jane Unhjem died of her injuries on Sunday night.

Authorities said the small plane was a Socata TB10, registered to an Orlando, FL man.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the plane went down in a vacant lot near a residential area about a mile north of Brookhaven Calabro Airport.

The FAA reported that the accident happened on departure from Brookhaven Airport.

Neighbors told CBS 2's Steve Langford that they did their best to save the pilot.

"We were trying so hard to get him out and we couldn't, we kept him wet, he was trapped," said Darnell Lee.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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