Small plane crash in Massachusetts claims the lives of Nassau couple

Posted: Updated:
MANHASSET -

A small plane crash in Massachusetts has claimed the lives of a prominent Long Island cardiac surgeon and his wife.

The pilot of the private plane was a well-respected heart surgeon at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. He and his wife were flying to Bedford, Massachusetts when the single engine plane went down.

That doctor, who authorities say was at the controls when the plane crashed, has been identified as Michael Graver. The only other person on board was his wife, Jodi Cohen. The couple, who lived in Manhasset, were both killed.

At the scene, debris was scattered behind several homes in the town of Woburn, Massachusetts, a suburb about 12 miles northwest of Boston.

The plane took off from Republic Airport in Farmingdale at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday and crashed about an hour and a half later, just four miles away from where they were supposed to land.

Dr. Graver, who was 65 years old, is described as an experienced pilot.

Cohen worked as a real estate agent. She was 55 years old.

Even though the plane went down in a well populated area, no one else was hurt.

Residents say they knew something was wrong when they heard sounds coming from the plane.

"I was in my room and I heard the engine sputter and I heard a whir, and it going down extremely fast," said Hyden Meiler. "And that's when it exploded. So it was only a matter of seconds probably when it hit the ground."

The loss of the prominent doctor is being felt at the Manhasset hospital.

"Really no words for it," said David Brody, of Northwell Health. "Still trying to understand. No words for it. Just pure shock."

Tthe exact cause of the crash is not yet known.

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