Craig Schum, a bread baker at , was driving home from work when he in front of the in Wainscott on Sunday evening, and he stopped to learn more about what they were protesting against — noise.
That's when a few hundred yards away.
Michael Norbeck, a manger at located at the airport, and 17-year-old Jack Gleeson, who is working as an aircraft refueler there this summer, knew something wasn't right as the Mooney single-engine plane took off from runway 10, headed east.
"It was really low for being that far down the runway," said Gleeson, an senior who has been taking flying lessons since he was 15 and is on his way to becoming a pilot. "It barely cleared the trees," he said, adding that it made a steep left turn. Then he heard trees cracking and "a loud bang."
Gleeson and Norbeck lost sight of the plane as it went passed the trees. They went to jump in Norbeck's car, not knowing how deep in the woods the plane was, they said. The keys weren't in the ignition. Norbeck went to retrieve them and Gleeson took off running, crossing Daniel's Hole Road.
Meanwhile, Schum, a 33-year-old Brooklyn man standing at the airport entrance, ran toward the burning plane in the woods.
He said he scaled an 6-foot deer fence — barefoot — and jumped, then ran a few hundred feet more to the wreckage, where he found a man standing, covered in blood and in shock, and a woman, sprawled on the ground, her legs still in the plane. Both doors to the plane were open and the engine was already on fire, he said.
Police identified the victims as Stephen Bochter, 51, of Assonet, Mass., and Kim Brillo, both of whom were flown to Stony Brook University Hospital. According tothe Department of Media Relations on Monday afternoon, Bochter is in good condition, and Brillo has been discharged.
Through tears, Schum described the traumatizing scene. "The woman was totally unconscious. I was pretty sure she was dead," he said.
"I know you’re not supposed to move somebody because of a possible neck injury," Schum said. "But I knew the plane was going to burst into flames, so I made the decision and carried her out."
About two minutes, later, he said, it was engulfed in flames. There is reportedly little of the Mooney single-engine, low wing aircraft.
Norbeck, who had made it to the crash site along with another man, Dean Foster, a Sagponack pilot who ran to help too, said he immediately asked the pilot how much fuel was on board. "He said, 'A lot,' and I knew we had to get further away," Norbeck said.
Schum and another man, whom he didn't know but by all accounts seems to be Gleeson, helped carry Brillo away from the wreckage. They lifted up part of the wire deer fencing and got Brillo under it and brought her to the roadside.
"I tried to revive her, not in a medical way like CPR or anything," Schum said, as she appeared to be breathing. "I held her face and I was saying her name and telling her everything would be okay. She started to regain consciousness."
Bochter, who also had to be helped away from the wreckage too, laid down next to the woman. Schum said he was looking into her face. "The image of the two of them . . . like he was saying, 'Be okay. Please be okay.'"
According to East Hampton Town police, Bochter, an experienced pilot, and Brillo, had flown into East Hampton earlier Sunday and were flying back to Taunton, Mass., when their plane's engine started to lose power. The pilot made a turn back to the airport and then the plane crashed just east of the airport.
Norbeck, who's been working at Sound Aircraft for 11 years, said this is the worst crash so close to the airport in many years. "I can't believe they were in as good a condition as they were," Norbeck said.
In 1993, there was a fatal plane crash. In 2005, a plane crashed, killing the pilot, on a residential street in East Hampton Village.
When ambulance personnel arrived on scene, they had to push Schum away from the woman. "I didn’t want to leave her," he said. "I’m going to go to the hospital today. I want to give her a hug."
Back at work on Monday morning at the Wainscott bakery, less than a mile from the crash site, Schum said he's still processing what happened. He said he doesn't feel like he didn't anything heroic, but, he said, "It doesn’t even feel real. It feels like a weird, bad dream."