Pilot killed after plane crashes into New Bedford cemetery


NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WWLP/WPRI) — The pilot of a plane that crashed into a New Bedford cemetery Monday afternoon has died, according to New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Cessna 150 crashed soon after taking off from New Bedford Regional Airport. The pilot was the only person aboard the plane at the time of the crash, according to Mitchell. The pilot’s identity is unknown at this time.

David Procopio, spokesman of the Massachusetts State Police told 22News detectives from the department and crime scene services have been called to assist local police and firefighters with the small plane crash.

Procopio said the plane crashed at the Rural Cemetary located at Rockdale Avenue at Grape Street. The area is currently taped off while crews investigate.

Morgan Bernardo, who lives nearby, said she heard a low-flying aircraft and when she went outside, she saw a plane nosedive into the cemetery. Verna Kendall said she heard the crash from inside the kitchen of her home on Weaver Street.

“This is an awful thing too close to home. If it had been closer it would have hit a house,” she said.

“It’s a mangled mess to tell you the truth,” her husband James Kendall added.

New Bedford Regional Airport serves New Bedford and the entire Southcoast region of Massachusetts. Rural Cemetery opened in 1837 and compromises of 100 acres of burial grounds.

We’ve reached out to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) but have yet to hear back.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated once more information is provided.

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