TETERBORO, N.J. – Two men ferrying blood specimens walked away from a fiery small-plane crash Friday morning at New Jersey's Teterboro airport, and emergency responders found them at a nearby bus stop, alert and conscious, albeit badly burned.
One of the men, identified as George Maddox of Reading, Pa., was taken to St. Barnabas Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Sally Malech said. She said Maddox was in critical condition at the hospital's burn unit.
The other man was taken to a local hospital but was expected to be taken to St. Barnabas, which has the state's only burn unit. His name and condition were not immediately available.
Little Ferry police officer Adam Warne, who was among the first to respond to the scene, said he was taken aback to find the men alive and talking after the crash.
"They were sitting at the curb at the bus stop. Both of them were alert and conscious and answering questions," Warne said.
Warne said one man was "severely burned." Little Ferry Police Chief Ralph Verdi said Maddox had burns over 20 percent to 30 percent of his body.
"The one who had more burns sat there and was in a daze," he said. "I saw the wreckage, they both said 'We were in the plane.' I was a little taken back, you know."
Teterboro is the same airport where a plane took off earlier this month before colliding with a sightseeing helicopter over the Hudson River. Nine people were killed aboard the two aircraft.
In 2005, a corporate jet went off the runway at Teterboro, crashed through a fence and crossed a highway before smashing into a warehouse. Twenty people were injured.
The plane was carrying blood specimens for Quest Diagnostics, which is just down the street from the airport, when it crashed just after 3 a.m. while trying to land, police said.
The twin-engine Beechcraft was believed to have originated in Reading, Pa.
Federal Aviation Administration officials were investigating.
The aircraft carries medical specimens to a lab at Teterboro that serves the New York metropolitan area, said Quest Diagnostics Gary Samuels.
Joanne and Michael DeVito of nearby Little Ferry looked out at the wreckage from the back of a local building.
"It's scary," Joanne DeVito, 38, said. "The big planes come in so low you could wave at the pilot. It shakes everything in the house."