AMITY TWP., Pa. - Two people were taken to the hospital following the crash of a small plane in eastern Berks County.
An "aircraft emergency" was initially reported shortly after 3:30 p.m. in the 100 block of Amity Park Road in Amity Township.
First responders arrived on the scene to find the charred skeleton of a small aircraft in a field. The grass beneath the plane was also burned.
"I looked out my back window and I saw the smoke coming up from this area down here, and I kind of figured, something was going on with the plane," said John Fry, a neighbor, who lives near the 100 block of Amity Park Road and said he saw his neighbor flying the plane earlier in the day.
Fry said the pilot is John Bertagna, an experienced Marine who flew planes in Korea and later served as a commercial pilot.
"John is an excellent neighbor. You can see how beautiful it makes it look around here. He is a real good guy," said Fry.
Fry told 69 News that Bertagna was flying the yellow and white plane that he had had for about a month when something went terribly wrong.
Emergency personnel rushed to the scene to extinguish the blaze and transported Bertagna and his passenger, Steven Bosshard, of Manasquan, New Jersey, to Reading Hospital.
Fry said Bosshard had a laceration on his lip and his ankle was bleeding, but he was coherent when he left in the ambulance. He was last reported to be in good condition.
"I was more concerned about John. I came over to John right away, and I hope he is OK," said Fry.
Police could provide no specifics about the injuries Bertagna suffered.
Police said they contacted the Federal Aviation Administration to continue the investigation.
Allentown, PA 18102