Two victims were hospitalized after their single-engine Coast Guard auxiliary plane crash-landed in a Cresskill athletic field this afternoon.
"If it was another hour from now this field would have been packed with kids playing football," Cresskill Police Chief Edward Wrixon told The Daily Voice.
"There were a lot of people around, though," he added. "Kudos to the pilot for putting it down where he did."
Both male victims were being transported to the hospital by ambulance after the U.S. Coast Guard auxiliary aircraft crashed into a bank of trees in Regan Field off 3rd Street around 4:45 p.m., the chief said.
Although both were conscious and alert while being taken to the ambulance, Wrixon said he "would consider their injuries serious -- compound fractures, lacerations."
The pair had been surveying the Hudson River and "were experiencing some difficulties and some problems with the plane," the chief said. "From what we're gathering, they checked in with one of the towers at LaGuardia [Airport].
"They were going to try and make it to the Hudson River, but they ended up here."
Cresskill police, firefighters and EMTs were first on the scene. Also responding were officers and emergency workers from various surrounding towns and the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police.
Local officials were awaiting the National Transportation Safety Board. Meanwhile, they'd cordoned off the area as they would a crime scene.