EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — For people who live on Roses Farm Road in East Haven, hearing planes buzzing overhead is normal. But when Paul D’Agostino looked up from his backyard Wednesday morning, he knew something was wrong.
“Looked up, saw a plane on the west side, didn’t look right,” D’Agostino said.
D’Agostino has lived long enough near Tweed New Haven for decades. He was the unfortunate eyewitness who looked up to see the small plane struggling, before the crash.
“Tried to correct itself once maybe twice,” D’Agostino said. “Now at this point it’s east and ended up flipping, just nose-diving into the wetland. Big wetland. (Has) got to be 500 acres of wetland.”
The crash location and conditions proved difficult for emergency responders. They set up a staging area behind homes and in backyards on Roses Farm Road, before making the estimated 2,000 foot walk through a swampy marshland, to the crash site.
“Its uninhabitable,” D’Agostino said. “You don’t go there on foot, or on a quad or a dirt bike. It’s impossible. I went as far as I could on my tractor. (Then) ran on foot. I didn’t see anything, no smoke no voices.”
The scene brought back horrifying memories of the Allegheny Airlines crash of June 1971. Some neighbors still remember that day, where 28 people died in a crash near the airport.
Related Content: WTNH investigates history of accidents at Tweed Airport
“Reminds me of the Allegheny that went down,” Tony Pagliaro said. “I was one of the first out there when it went down.”