The crash of a single-engined aircraft in southwest Tuscarawas County early Saturday afternoon (April 21) claimed the life of the pilot, who was the sole occupant.

Tuscarawas County Coroner Dr. James Hubert pronounced Emil Bisaccia, 59, Basking Ridge, N.J., dead at the scene in a wooded area east of Interstate 77 in Oxford Township. The crash site lies about four miles southeast of Newcomerstown.

"(The plane crashed) in a wooded area on Indian Road," said Newcomerstown Fire Chief Bobby McGarry at the scene. "This is the first plane crash that I've been to since I started with the fire department in 1991."

According to reports from the New Philadelphia post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a caller to the Tuscarawas County Emergency 911 system reported at 12:23 p.m. a small plane crashed into a wooded area off Indian Road south of Stocker Ridge Road. Smoke could be seen rising from the spot.

"We were actually eating lunch," said a resident living close to the crash site. "We didn't know for sure what the noise was at the time. It was very loud. It sounded like a small car, very high RPM's. It sounded like it went down Stocker Ridge and then somewhat over top of our house. When it hit, the explosion actually shook the house and shook the plates ... in the cupboard. I ran to the front of the house. I thought someone hit the house with a vehicle. We were out there looking things over and we could see the smoke ... a couple hundred yards or so from our house. We actually didn't see anything, other than the smoke from our house, and there was just a little bit of it."

The Newcomerstown News honored the man's request for anonymity.

According to information online, Bisaccia departed from New Jersey's Somerset Airport en route to The Ohio State University Airport in Columbus. He was piloting a Cirrus SR-22 registered to Photopheresis Inc. in Morristown, N.J.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration office in Cleveland and National Transportation Safety Board in Dallas, Texas, reportedly headed to the scene.

McGarry said he might be asked to kept his trucks at the scene to provide lighting for investigators.

Emergency service providers on hand included those from Newcomerstown Emergency Rescue and Fire Department, Tri-County Joint Ambulance District, the New Philadelphia post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office.