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Support Pours In For Family Of Area Plane Crash Victims

Gerard Bocker (left,) Hannah Bocker and Wil Bocker.
Gerard Bocker (left,) Hannah Bocker and Wil Bocker. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

As the details of the horrific crash of a small plane into a house come to light, support pours in for the family devasted by the event through a fundraiser set up by a family friend.

The plane crash, which killed two people and left one with life-threatening injuries in a burn unit, took place around 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, Aug. 17 in Dutchess County on South Smith Road in Union Vale, just south of Sky Acres Airport and east of the Taconic State Parkway.

The two who died were the pilot of the Cessna 303, identified as Francisco Knipping-Diaz, 61, of Woodmere in Nassau County, and homeowner Gerard Bocker, 61, a longtime Union Vale resident who worked part-time for the town. 

Aso injured during the crash were Bocker's daughters, Hannah, 21, who is in critical condition, and Sarah, 30, who received non-life-threatening injuries, officials said. Bocker's wife and son were not home at the time of the crash.

The plane was leaving Sky Acres en route to Republic Airport, located in East Farmingdale in Nassau County when it crashed into the house located about a mile south of the airport.

The plane experienced some sort of engine trouble before it struck the side of the house, according to authorities. 

To help the family, who lost everything, including several pets, a friend of the family has started the Facebook fundraising effort in order for them to buy clothes and other necessities. A GoFundMe page has also been started.

One family member is reported as saying that they have gathered at the hospital keeping vigil over the two sisters. 

Funeral plans have not yet been made for Gerard Bocker.

Almost 1,400 people have donated and offered their sympathies to the family who are known for helping others throughout the years.

To date, more than $63,000 has been raised for the family. 

The cause of the crash is under investigation. 

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