Long Island Plane Crash Victim's Condition Upgraded

The passenger of a small plane that crashed on a residential street on Long Island is improving at an area hospital, authorities said Monday.

Michael Rome, 65, had his condition upgraded to "good," authorities said.

The pilot, 34-year-old Scott Clifford, was hospitalized in serious condition with two leg fractures and a head injury, said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini.

"They're in relatively good shape considering the impact they took," said Dr. James Vosswinkel of Stony Brook University Hospital.

The Piper 28 lost engine power and was attempting to return to the Bayport Aerodome when it went down shortly after takeoff Sunday evening. 

The plane clipped a tree and a utility pole and crashed at the quiet intersection of Second Street and Third Avenue, Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said. 

Residents said Monday that the area was a relatively good spot to put a plane down, all things considered, because the neighborhood was home to several police and firefighters.

"He went down in the right spot because everyone has a skillset to do what they needed to do," said Eric Cruz.

The plane experienced engine failure and was attempting to return to the Bayport Aerodrome, she said.

About 250 houses and businesses briefly lost power after the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the crash.

It is the third such plane crash in Long Island in as many months. 

Early last month, a small plane parachute-landed in front of a building in Hauppauge. 

And in February, a small plane carrying four people crash-landed in the Long Island Sound. 

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