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Small Plane Slams into Highway, Killing Four

March 31, 1996

WAREHAM, Mass. (AP) _ A small plane crashed onto a highway Saturday, killing its two passengers and a young mother and child riding in a car.

Police said the Piper Cherokee’s only engine had failed and the pilot may have been trying to make an emergency landing in a cranberry bog about 300 feet from Interstate 495.

Karen Wilkinson, 23, of Framingham, was fatally injured. Her daughter, Brittany M. Wilkinson-Carp, who was about 4-years-old, died when plane hit their car, state police spokeswoman Barbara Bennett said.

Ms. Wilkinson died later at a local hospital.

The plane’s pilot and passenger, whose identities were not immediately available, also died at the scene. A witness said he saw flames shooting above the trees in a woods adjacent to the highway.

``You couldn’t even tell there were bodies there, they were so badly burned,″ Robbie Oliveira said.

The car’s driver, Tony Lobello, 31, of Wayland, was in intensive care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a spokeswoman said. Wareham is about 45 miles southeast of Boston.

The pilot radioed the New Bedford Municipal Airport that he had lost power in his engine at about 12:50 p.m. and was going to attempt an emergency landing, State Trooper Douglas Mendes said.

As it came down, the plane hit some trees along the highway’s northbound lane, crossed the median and hit the mid-sized station wagon traveling southbound, Mendes said.

No one else appeared to have been injured. Traffic in southeastern Massachusetts was brought to a standstill by the crash.

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