2 die in small plane crash near I-93 in NH
HOOKSETT, N.H. -- New Hampshire state police say two people have died in a small plane crash near Interstate 93 in Hooksett.
Police say the single-engine Beechcraft hit a light pole alongside I-93 northbound Thursday afternoon, sending it crashing into the woods next to the highway. The FAA said it was flying from Nashua to Laconia.
State Police and federal investigators swarmed the single engine Beechcraft -- its tail end jutted out into the high-speed lane of Interstate 93 North in Hooksett, New Hampshire.
Police said a male and female were on the plane. The pilot -- the male -- was ejected from the plane; the female was still on board when her body was discovered. The victims have been identified as Herman and Doris Hassinger of Block Island, Rhode Island -- both 83 years old.
Police say they do not know why the plane was flying so low as to hit the pole.
"What you see behind me is the plane, it’s covered with a blue tarp and similar to a car there is heavy front-end damage to the engine compartment. Other than that, the plane is in relatively good condition and in contact,” said Lt. Christopher Wagner, New Hampshire State Police.
The wreck was visible from the highway. The left two lanes of northbound I-93 were closed to traffic during the investigation and vehicles were being funneled to the shoulder.
“Preliminary information does indicate…is pointing to a large pole -- light pole to my right -- that the plane did strike that pole. We had one ejection from the plane and one person still remains inside," said Lt. Wagner.
The medical examiner left the scene with the victims early Thursday evening. The FAA confirmed the Beechcraft is the same plane that ran into trouble in 2010 in Nashua, New Hampshire when it made an emergency landing at the airport due to landing gear problems.
Officials say it’s too early into the investigation to determine why the plane crashed.
“I will ask, though, the general public, someone had to have been driving on Interstate 93 -- whether traveling north or south -- that may have seen this plane and that may shed some light and give us a little more information as to what had happen,” Lt. Wagner said.
Investigators removed the guardrail next to the crash site and delicately removed the plane from the highway Thursday evening. The plane was taken up to a hangar in New Hampshire for further investigation.