EPHRATAH, N.Y. (AP) — A crew aboard a helicopter and dozens of other searchers scoured the woods and water in central New York for a third day Monday without finding a brain cancer patient who was on a volunteer medical flight that crashed last week. He is presumed dead.
Frank and Evelyn Amerosa of Utica, N.Y., were aboard an Angel Flight on Friday night when the twin-engine aircraft went down in Ephratah, a sleepy town about an hour west of Albany, according to police and family members.
John Campbell, 70, of Stamford, Conn., was flying the couple back from the Boston area, where Frank Amerosa was being treated for brain cancer, officials and family said.
The bodies of both Campbell and Evelyn Amerosa were recovered from the rural crash site. Searchers continued to look for the body of 64-year-old Frank Amerosa on Monday, authorities said.
Ephratah Town Supervisor Todd Bradt said the effort would resume Tuesday.
Frank Amerosa, a retired trucker, had been diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago. Evelyn Amerosa, 58, worked at an area nursing home directing residents in activities like bingo and trips — a job she loved, said her daughter Heather Theobald. She said her mother had been with her step-father for at least 16 years. The couple loved to travel and had recently returned from the Bahamas.
"Very happy, very much love, very optimistic, they did everything for anybody," Theobald said. "They were just very good people. They were loved by a lot of people."
Campbell was a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, a nonprofit group that arranges free air transportation for the sick. Angel Flight Northeast said it has set up free air transportation and medical care for more than 65,000 children and adults on about 60,000 flights covering more than 12 million miles. It was founded in 1996.
"John loved to fly and truly believed in the mission of Angel Flight. He loved volunteering his time and we take some solace in the fact he died doing something he loved while trying to help others," according to a family statement.
Rescue workers have been scouring woods and a big, murky pond where the bulk of the aircraft was submerged. Wreckage from the crash was dispersed over a large area, with pieces of the plane and documents found as far as five miles away.
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