2 Still Missing 2 Days After Long Island Plane Crash

By Holly Kellum, Washington, D.C. Reporter
June 4, 2018 Updated: June 4, 2018    

Officials have suspended the search for two people who were on a plane that crashed off the coast of Long Island on June 2, after poor sea conditions made it too difficult to keep searching.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it got a call shortly before 3 p.m. on Saturday about an aircraft that had gone down in the water about two miles off Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett.

Aboard the aircraft were Bernard and Bonnie Krupinski, both 70, their grandson William Maerov, 22, and pilot Jon Dollard, 47.

Bernard Krupinski, the owner of luxury home construction company Ben Krupinski Builders, was well known on the island as a businessman, working with celebrities like Martha Stewart, Billy Joel, and Christie Brinkley.

The couple were also known for their philanthropy. In 2017, the couple were honored as “citizens of the year” by the East Hampton Lions Club.

“Bonnie and Ben Krupinski were two great pillars of our community, who embodied the values of our town: generosity, warmth, charity, kindness, and hard work,” Amos Goodman, chairman of the East Hampton Republican Committee, wrote on Facebook. “They were personal friends to many, myself included. The apparent loss of life of those aboard the plane today is devastating and cruel.”

After a search covering a 646-square-mile area, it was suspended on Sunday.

“It is with deep sadness that we are suspending the active search efforts,” Captain Kevin B. Reed, commander at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector on the Long Island Sound, said in a statement. “This is always a difficult decision, and we cannot imagine the pain of those families who have lost their loved ones.”

The East Hampton Town Police, which led the recovery efforts, have not released the identities of two bodies that have been recovered, pending a report from the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A debris trail from the plane, a PA-31 Navajo, was found by a fisherman after the aircraft failed to land at the East Hampton Airport.

The plane had been flying from Newport, Rhode Island, East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc told the Wall Street Journal.

Local residents said a squall line ripped through the area shortly before the plane lost contact with air traffic control.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

As soon as the water clears up, divers will continue looking for the bodies, according to the East Hampton Police Department.

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