JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - A single-engine Cessna plane crashed in the Williamsburg Landing subdivision in James City County, killing two people Friday afternoon.
Assistant Fire Chief Bob Ryalls said the plane went down on Boatright Court near the Williamsburg/Jamestown Airport shortly before 5 p.m. There was no fire when it crashed.
State Police have confirmed the pilot, 54-year-old Joseph D. Brown, IV and a female passenger were killed, as was a family pet.
Brown had clocked more than 4,300 flight hours in his background with the Air Force, mainly in B-1 and B-52. He also served combat time in operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
His official title was Major General of the Eisenhower School at Fort McNair, a premier Department of Defense national security training school in Washington, D.C.
The plane crashed about 20 yards from Nancy and Bruce Ward's home. The couple spoke to WAVY.com about the harrowing experience.
"I was in my bedroom and heard a thud. One of neighbors came to my door. He asked if I had a fire extinguisher because a plane had just crashed by my house. That was the first I had heard of it," recalled Nancy Ward. "We saw a plane that had apparently hit a tree right next to our driveway. It had gone straight down into the ground. There was no sign of life."
"It was about 15 feet away from our driveway," said Bruce Ward. "There are about 15 people out here huddling trying to figure out how to proceed."
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.