Funeral service held for 1st victim of Westchester plane crash
People packed into a Cleveland chapel Friday night to mourn one of the men killed in a Westchester County plane crash.
The Medical Examiners' Office worked overnight so that the bodies of the pilot, Boruch Taub, and the passenger, Binyamin Chafetz, could be sent home to Cleveland for burial right away in keeping with their Orthodox Jewish tradition.
Chafetz, a well-known member of the Cleveland Orthodox community, was buried in Ohio on Friday.
News 12 learned that he spent the last minutes of his life sending a message to his wife saying, "I love you and the kids."
The two men took off from JFK International Airport Thursday evening on their way home.
About 30 minutes after takeoff, Taub reported an engine oil issue and the plane started losing altitude.
From radio communication, News 12 has learned that Taub knew he had minutes to land safely, but he wasn't able to.
He crashed at Louden Point, just about two miles away from the runway he was being guided to.
Hundreds of first responders searched for about five hours for the plane in terrible weather.
It was found after getting the FBI to ping Chafetz and Taub's cellphones.
Officials say the plane was heavily damaged with parts hanging from the trees. The bodies were found on the ground.
Chafetz’s funeral was standing-room-only because many people wanted to say goodbye.
His brother spoke during the service. "Benjamin, please forgive me if I ever wronged you and I know you'll be...for us in Shamayim," he said.
Shamayim means Heaven in Hebrew.
Taub will be buried Sunday.
The crash site is currently closed off. The plane will likely be there through the weekend as NTSB investigators work in the area.