Authorities identify passengers onboard small plane that crashed off Long Island coast

Posted at 9:05 AM, Jun 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-03 18:29:44-04

AMAGANSETT, N.Y. — Police have identified the passengers that were on board a small aircraft that crashed off the coast of a Long Island beach.

Four people were aboard the Piper PA31 Navajo that crashed into the ocean shortly before 3 p.m., police said.

East Hampton Police identified the four occupants of the aircraft as Bernard and Bonnie Krupinski, both 70, William Maerov, 22, and the pilot, Jon Dollard, 47.

Bernard Krupinski grew up in East Hampton before starting his business, Ben Krupinski Builders, there. As a builder, his clients included Martha Stewart and Billy Joel, and his projects dot East Hampton, South Hampton and Connecticut.

The privately owned aircraft failed to land at East Hampton Airport as expected, police said. Several agencies joined in the search after a debris field was located about 1.5 south of Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett.

Two bodies have been found, but their identity is being withheld pending confirmation from the Medical Examiner’s office, police said.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended their search efforts Sunday afternoon, and it will remain suspending pending the development of new information.

Eastern Long Island is known for its celebrity presence, with many wealthy and prominent individuals spending time there, particularly in the summer months.

Small planes and helicopters are popular, as a way to avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Long Island Expressway.

Extreme weather was reported in the East Hampton area around the time of the crash, according to police.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Associated Press contributed to this report.