‘There is an angel on your shoulder’: Family of homeowner, neighbors react to plane crashing into Groton house

New London

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH)– A close call in Groton as a plane crashes into a home with one man was inside. The event has shocked many.

All day long people have been coming by the Ring Drive home to see a surprising scene, but what may be most surprising is how the people involved in the plane crash are doing, including the man who was inside the home.

Related: 2 hurt after plane crashes into Groton home, officials investigating cause of crash

“It’s into a house. It’s into a house?” can be heard on one of the many 911 calls reporting the crash.

The scene seems almost surreal. A plane embedded into the roof a Groton home… Tammy de la Cruz’s childhood home.

“It’s heart wrenching to see the house that you grew up in and all… we don’t know what’s going to be salvageable,” said de la Cruz.

Most of all though she is thankful. 

Her 73-year-old father Ken Johnson was sleeping in a back bedroom, he had just left the living room when the plane slammed into his home.

“I was sitting at the computer all of a sudden I heard this big bang,” said neighbor Rebecca Foreman.

Several neighbors ran out of their homes. de la Cruz lives around the corner.

“Whenever I saw that it was my father’s house, I just thought he’s not here like I lost my dad too,” said de la Cruz.

Fortunately he and the two men in the Piper PA34 which reportedly came from Bangor, Maine made it out with very little injuries.

“As an EMT I went over and said ‘are you guys okay?’” said neighbor Rich Foreman. “They had some facial cuts and they said they were fine.”

de la Cruz says the plane came from the east heading toward the side of her father’s home. It hit the garage roof and then smashed into the main part of the house where it twisted in a southerly direction. Jet fuel leaked everywhere below it.

“The fuel hit his throat and he just said the smell and the fuel was so bad he just shut his door, locked it, and he got dressed and like climbed out the back window,” said de la Cruz.

Reports of the sputtering plane were called in as far away as Mystic.

“We also had officers who were in our back parking lot who heard it sputtering also so they were able to get down there fairly quickly,” said Groton Police Sgt. Heather Beaucamp.

One of the pilots told a neighbor an engine lost power. 

There have been other close calls in neighborhoods near the Groton-New London Airport along with tragedies, like one in August of 2003 where two people onboard a Learjet which hit several homes were killed. 

“I said to my dad ‘there is an angel on your shoulder. Probably my mom and my son,’” said de la Cruz.

NTSB is not sending investigators to the scene but an outside recovery crew removed the plane Wednesday to bring it to a secure location where it can be examined as part of the investigation.

WEB EXTRA: Crews remove the wreckage of crashed plane from the Groton home Wednesday morning 

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