Oct. 5, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A woman is dead and two others are in critical condition after a seaplane they were traveling in crashed into a concrete pier in Whitestone Sunday.
Maggie O Neill, 61, died after the single-engine Cessna slammed into a pier at Riverside Drive and 158th Street at around 3 p.m. yesterday, police said. The location is west of the Throgs Neck Bridge.
O’Neill, from the Murray Hill section of Queens, was one of three people in the light aircraft, according to police. Police said that there were also two men on board– a 61-year-old and a 66-year-old– with one of the two men piloting the seaplane. Cops did not specify which of the two men was the pilot.
The FDNY said units arrived on the scene within four minutes of receiving a 911 and found that a good Samaritan had already rescued two people from the wreckage.
“The third victim was removed by members of the FDNY,” FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, said at a press briefing by the crash site yesterday.
Onlookers saw the aircraft moving quickly along the water before crashing, Nigro said.
“Witnesses said that the plane was traveling rather fast along the water, skipped twice, and hit the pier,” Nigro said.
The plane, Nigro said, was “broken in pieces.”
At approximately 3pm today a single engine seaplane crashed into a pier at Riverside Drive and 158 St on the Long Island Sound in Queens. FDNY members removed three seriously injured passengers from the wreckage and transported them to local hospitals. FDNY Operations continue. pic.twitter.com/pyuDgguowX
— FDNY (@FDNY) October 4, 2020
Nigro said that the good Samaritan – a jet skier – suffered minor injuries but declined medical attention on the scene.
The cause of the crash is not known and is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration, the FDNY and the NYPD said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted details about the incident Sunday and asked that the victims and their families be kept in people’s thoughts.
“Please keep these people and their families in your thoughts tonight,” he tweeted.
A small seaplane crashed into a pier on Riverside Drive in Queens earlier today. Emergency crews are on the scene. 3 passengers have been taken to the hospital. We’ll provide more updates as we get them. Please keep these people and their families in your thoughts tonight.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) October 4, 2020