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At least 3 killed in small-plane crash on interstate highway in northern New Jersey
HARDING, N.J. (AP) ' A small plane headed for Georgia crashed Tuesday on one of the New York City area's busiest highways, spiraling out of control, losing a wing, hitting the wooded median strip and exploding. At least three people, all on board, were killed.
The death toll in the crash on Interstate 287 could be as high as five, State Police Lt. Stephen Jones said. There were no casualties on the ground, he said.
Wreckage was scattered over at least a half-mile-wide area, with a wing found lodged in a tree of a home about a quarter-mile away, near a highway entrance ramp.
Helicopter footage from News 12 New Jersey showed charred wreckage stretching across the median and the highway, a heavily used route that wraps around the northern and western edges of the New York City area. Both sides of the highway were shut down.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Socata TBM-700 single-engine turboprop had departed from nearby Teterboro Airport when it disappeared from radar. It was headed for DeKalb Peachtree Airport near Atlanta and was registered to an address on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Chris Covello of Rockaway Township said he saw the plane spin out of control from the car dealership where he works in Morristown, near the site of the crash.
"It was like the plane was doing tricks or something, twirling and flipping. It started going straight down. I thought any second they were going to pull up. But then the wing came off and they went straight down," he said.
David Williamson, 19, was doing maintenance at a golf course in Morristown when he spotted a plane in trouble, with smoke coming off both sides of the wings.
"It was really scary," he said.
When the plane crashed, he said, it sent up a "huge plume of thick black smoke."