Five people including two children were killed this morning when a small plane headed for Georgia crashed onto a New Jersey highway.
Wreckage was scattered over a half-mile radius on Interstate 287 south of exit 35 in Morris Township. A wing was found in a tree of a home about a 400 yards away.
The single-engine plane, which was owned and flown by a Manhattan investment banker, took off from Teterboro Airport shortly after 10 a.m. and disappeared from the radar soon after, said Lt. Stephen Jones, a state police spokesman.
"It may have broken up in air," Jones said.
The Socata TMB-700 turboprop was headed for DeKalb Peachtree Airport near Atlanta and was registered to an address on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
The main impact of the crash was on the southbound side of 287 and extended through a wooded median and onto the northbound lane, Jones said.
A list of victims was not immediately available.
"We don't have any IDs," Jones said. "We may know from the flight log who was slated to be on there, but we don't know right now who was actually on there."
According to a press release from Greenhill & Co., an investment bank, two of its managing directors were on the plane, Jeffrey F. Buckalew, 45, and Rakesh Chawla, 36, both from New York City.
The turboprop "belonged to Mr. Buckalew, an experienced pilot whose passion was flying." Buckalew's wife, Corinne, and their two children, Jackson and Meriwether, were also on board, the company said.
In addition to the human toll, a dog aboard the plane was also killed.
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."