NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. -- A well-known bariatric surgeon, his psychologist wife, and elderly mother were identified yesterday as the people killed in a small plane crash on Block Island.
William P. Homan, 58; his wife, Valerie, 51; and her mother, Betty, 85, were killed in the crash, Department of Health spokeswoman Maria Wah-Fitta said. The state medical examiner determined the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries due to blunt force impact.
William Homan had owned the four-seat Piper Cherokee PA-28 for 15 years, and had logged more than 1,000 hours on it , officials said.
Lawrence Kadish, Homan's longtime colleague and medical director at White Plains Hospital Center, said his friend visited the summer haven, about 12 miles south of the Rhode Island coast, at least a half-dozen times each year.
Records show the couple owned a house on the island.
Kadish described Homan as a compassionate, caring, and innovative surgeon renowned in his field.
The private plane was cleared for takeoff from the island's airport just after noon Wednesday and was bound for White Plains, but the pilot never made additional contact with air controllers, authorities said.
The plane crashed about a quarter-mile west of the airport and neighbors found parts of the plane about 3 p.m. Wednesday, police said. Witnesses reported heavy rain and fog in the area , New Shoreham police chief Vincent Carlone said.