Pilot Killed In Small Plane Crash Near SUNY Purchase

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The area where a small plane crashed Friday morning, with the red marker noting Cottage Avenue near Route 120.
The area where a small plane crashed Friday morning, with the red marker noting Cottage Avenue near Route 120. Photo Credit: Google Maps

This story has been updated.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A small plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Westchester County Airport in White Plains near SUNY Purchase on Friday morning, claiming the life of its pilot, Richard Rockefeller, according to multiple reports.

Rockefeller, 64, is the son of David Rockefeller of Pocantico Hills, the only surviving son of the late financier John D. Rockefeller.

The plane crashed near Route 120 and Cottage Avenue in Purchase amid rainy and foggy conditions.

WCBS 880-AM reported that the pilot, who was the only person on board, was killed on impact. 

The plane was a single-engine Piper Meridian, 880-AM reported, citing confirmation from an airport official. 

It clipped trees and crashed near campus, 880-AM said. Harrison police quickly secured the scene. 

The scene of the crash is a small house with a barn and a showing area for horses, said Kevin Stewart of Red Cross Disaster Relief Unit.

The residents were in the house at the time of the crash, Stewart said. They have left the scene and are being interviewed by police.

There were no injuries and Stewart said that it appears the pilot was trying to avoid hitting the house before apparently crashing into a tree.

A 12:30 p.m. press conference has been scheduled for Westchester County Airport.

Check back to Daily Voice for further updates.

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