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Pilot survives plane crash on New Jersey street

By Allen Cone

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A small plane's pilot was "alert and talking" after his craft crashed on a street in New Jersey, smashing into a parked car and striking electric lines Sunday morning.

A 1972 single-engine Piper Arrow, which was registered to a flight school in Queens, N.Y., landed in a residential neighborhood after 10 a.m. across the Hudson River from New York City, officials said.

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The unidentified pilot, who was the plane's only occupant, was conscious after members of the fire department removed him from the wreckage, the city's public safety director, Robert Kubert, said. He was taken to Jersey City Medical Center's trauma unit and his condition wasn't immediately known, a hospital spokesman said.

Kubert said the pilot had technical difficulties as he flew his plane over the Statue of Liberty. He determined he couldn't make it to Newark Airport.

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"I think we're very lucky -- extremely lucky, considering all the houses around here," Kubert said. "He was the only injury, but he was alert and talking."

The Bayonne Office of Emergency Management noted on Facebook there were numerous road closures in the area and Public Service Enterprise Group was working to restore the isolated outages caused by the crash.

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The plane crashed near the front yard of Marelyn Feliciano's home.

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"The whole house shock and all the electricity went out," she told the New York Post. "I came out and called 911. We've been evacuated from our house. I'm just happy to be alive because it could have hit out house."

A witness, who only identified by her first name, Angela, said the plane first hit electrical wires.

"He took down the electricity first, so the spark happened," she said. "Then he took down everything with him -- the poles, the wires to all the houses here, the trees, the cars. Your mind just doesn't comprehend it. There was nobody on the so-called runway. I guess he figured it was a good place to land."

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