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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

Cattaraugus County Sheriff's office identifies man killed in Great Valley plane crash

The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office says a small plane crashed Wednesday afternoon in Great Valley. The cause of the crash is unclear at this time.

CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, N.Y. — UPDATE: The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office has provided an update about this crash on their Facebook page.

William H. Mandelare, 80, of Brockport, died as a result of the accident. Raymond E. Groetsch, 72, of Brockport, was taken to ECMC by Mercy Flight, where he's in critical condition.

The NTSB was in Great Valley Thursday investigating the plane crash.

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One person was killed and another was injured in a small plane crash Wednesday afternoon in Great Valley, according to the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office.

Captain Ronald Lott told 2 On Your Side that two people were on the plane at the time of the crash.

Lott said the pilot was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center while the passenger died at the scene.

“When I arrived there was still a small fire. The fire department did get there fairly quickly. They were able to assist in extracting the pilot from the plane, and then the plane eventually went into flames," Lott said. 

Lott told 2 on Your Side three witnesses were able to articulate what they saw.

“The one individual indicated that the plane went to take off. He noticed that it tilted a little bit to one side or the other, and then he never saw it in the sky. A short time later he saw black smoke coming from the ground. He was one of our callers," he explained.

Tara Keeley is another witness. She told 2 on Your Side she's lived across from the airport for 25 years.

“This is the first time ever that it’s been something as awful as this," Keeley said.

She added, “We watch planes take off all the time around here, so it’s really not that different to see another one, except this guy was very low, and he didn’t get very high. He turned hard left, and I could see the whole top of the plane, so I knew that wasn’t good at all, and he just collapsed.”

The names of the individuals have not been provided at this time.

The cause of the crash is unclear at this time.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued the following statement Wednesday evening about the crash:

"A single-engine Cessna 177B crashed in a field near Great Valley Airport in Great Valley, N.Y., around 2 p.m. local time today [Wednesday]. Two people were aboard. Please check with local authorities for the names and medical conditions of the occupants.

"The FAA will release the tail number of the aircraft after investigators verify it at the accident site. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates. Neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents."