Prominent homebuilder, wife, grandson presumed dead in fatal Hamptons plane crash

Search crews on Sunday continued to scour the eastern edge of Long Island after a plane carrying a prominent homebuilder and his family crashed a day earlier.

Newsday reports that inside the plane was Ben Krupinski, 70, who has built homes for wealthy and famous clients, including Martha Stewart and Billy Joel.

Also on board the plane was Krupinski’s wife, Bonnie Krupinski, 70; grandson Will Maerov, 22; and the pilot, Jon Dollard, 47.

As of Sunday afternoon, authorities had recovered two bodies, but their identities had not been released, the newspaper reports. All four occupants of the plane are presumed dead.

Dive teams and a Cost Guard helicopter were involved in the search for bodies and the plane’s fuselage, but weather was complicating that effort. Intense winds and rough waters have likely moved debris away from the site of impact.

The plane, a twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo, plunged into the water roughly a mile and a half from Indian Wells Beach Saturday afternoon.

Investigators are still examining what led to the crash, but a bad storm was in the area at the time of the incident, according to the New York Post.

Police on all-terrain vehicles could be seen scanning the shoreline for debris.

“There’s some serious riptide,” surfer Scott Holmes told the Post. “Everything in the water is going west and it’s going to be traveling pretty fast.”

The victims’ relatives were reportedly gathering at a family home in East Hampton, which was being protected by private security guards, the Post reports.

“They just want their privacy,” a guard said. “They’re going through a tough time right now.”

Stewart released a statement on Sunday saying she was devastated by news of the crash and the loss of the Krupinskis, who she said were close friends.

“I will miss each of them so very, very much,” Stewart said.


[Feature image: CNN video screenshot]