(HARDING, N.J.) — A New York City investment banker, his family and one of his business partners were killed when the small plane he was piloting crashed on a major highway in suburban New Jersey.
Greenhill & Co. said two of its managing directors, Jeffrey F. Buckalew and Rakesh Chawla, died when the Socata TBM-700 crashed around 10 a.m. in Harding, N.J.
“The firm is in deep mourning over the tragic and untimely death of two of its esteemed colleagues,” chairman Robert Greenhill and CEO Scott Bok said in a statement. “Jeff was one of the first employees of Greenhill. He and Rakesh were extraordinary professionals.”
Buckalew’s wife and two children were also killed in the crash which was preceded by what the FAA’s Jim Peters called “a garbled transmission” from the cockpit. The pilot had just requested to fly at a higher altitude, a request air traffic controllers granted.
Eyewitnesses said wreckage from the fiery crash spread over a half-mile.
“That’s one of the things investigators will look at as we get forward,” Peters said.
The plane belonged to Buckalew, who the company said was an experienced pilot. It had just taken off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and was en route to Georgia when it crashed on Interstate 287, one of the region’s busiest highways.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Oren Liebermann, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Ralph Ellis, CNN
Saeed Ahmed, CNN