Maya Rajamani

Two Dead Following Fiery Plane Crash Into Dutchess County Home

The Cessna 303 aircraft crashed into a house on Smith Road in Union Vale around 4:15 p.m. Saturday

What to Know

  • A small plane carrying three people crashed into a house in Dutchess County on Saturday, the FAA said
  • The Cessna 303 aircraft crashed into a house on Smith Road in Union Vale at 4:28 p.m., according to the FAA
  • Authorities on Saturday said one person had died as a result of the crash; police on Sunday confirmed a second person died

Two people have died after a small plane crashed into a house in Dutchess County, New York, authorities say.

The Cessna 303 aircraft departed Orange County Airport Saturday and stopped to refuel at Sky Acres in LaGrangeville. While en route to Farmingdale, it crashed into Gerry Bocker's house on Smith Road in Union Vale, killing the 61-year-old and injuring his two daughters, according to state police.

Authorities said 61-year-old pilot Francisco Knipping-Diaz died in the crash and his two passengers, 50-year-old Eduardo Tio and 52-year-old Antonio Diaz Pratt suffered injuries that weren't life-threatening. 

Hannah Bocker, 21, sustained life-threatening injuries and her 30-year-old sister, Sarah, had minor injuries, according to state police. According to neighbors, two other family members avoided the fatal crash. They say Bocker's wife wasn't home and their son was in California.

"I'm heartbroken," said Jim McCarthy, Bocker's neighbor. He says the father of three loved his children and that he was loved by everybody.

Photos taken by a person on the ground showed flames engulfing the house after the plane hit. Authorities said it was totally destroyed.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board said they are investigating the crash but preliminary points to engine issue as the reason the plane went down.

Contact Us