2 dead, 2 injured in Ocean Co. plane crash

May 17, 2008 8:31:09 PM PDT
New Jersey State Police say two people are dead and two others are injured after a plane crashed in Eagleswood, Ocean County. The small plane, carrying four people, reportedly took off from Millville shortly before 4:00 Saturday afternoon for a whale watching flight. But minutes later it went down.

Amy Martelli tells Action News, "I came out of the garage and my husband goes, 'That little plane is not going to make it.'"

Martelli watched from her backyard as the plane went down. "We could hear the engine... and it sputtered, it stopped, it went choo choo, like it was running out of gas. And started again... then it stopped. And it went below the trees and stopped completely."

About 15 seconds later she heard the crash, as the plane went down in heavily wooded area not far from Eagles Nest Airport, about 25 miles north of Atlantic City. Martelli called 9-1-1.

State Police began a search, but initially didn't find a crash site. Then one of the survivors, Juan Carlos Salenas, made a call to Mexico City where he's from. He was eventually connected to New Jersey State Police.

"He was able to pinpoint his location for us with the sound of the helicopter," said Commissioner Mark Ridge of the New Jersey State Police.

Salenas and another unidentified woman were rushed to Atlantic City Medical Center. Two others in the plane died on scene.

It is not yet clear what caused the plane to crash.

No word on the identities of the other victims, or on the conditions of those injured.

Stay with Action News and 6abc.com as more information becomes available.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.