Tolland, CT – July 4, 1973

Tolland, Connecticut – July 4, 1973

Updated July 20, 2017

     On July 4, 1973, a Piper Cherokee with a father and his two sons aboard left Orange County, New York, bound for Hopedale Airport in Hopedale, Massachusetts.  Shortly after 6:00 p.m. the aircraft crashed into a home on Columbine Road in the Hillside Estates section of Tolland.  All three occupants of the airplane were killed instantly.  The plane did not catch fire, however the house suffered major damage. 

     The homeowner was not home at the time of the crash.

     One witnesses told reporters that the plane had suddenly appeared from the low cloud cover with its “engine roaring”.  It looked as if it would clear the house, but then its right wing dipped and struck a tree near the home.  The fuselage slammed into the home and came to rest about 50 feet away near a wooded tree line.            

     Police and firefighters had trouble reaching the scene due to curious people clogging the road with their cars.   


     The Hartford Courant, “Plane Rams House; Three Die”, July 5, 1973 (Two Photos)

     Pawtucket Times, (R.I.), Photos of house with caption, July 5, 1973, Page 12

     Providence Evening Bulletin, “Conn. Air Crash Kills Mass. Father, Sons”, July 5, 1973, page 12

     Providence Journal, “3 Die In Crash Of Light Plane In Connecticut”, July 5, 1973, page 19 

     The Hartford Courant, “Witness Knew None Survived”, July 5, 1973    

      New York Times, “3 killed In Crash Of Private Plane”, July 5, 1973

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