Ben Krupinski, 'builder to the stars,' killed in plane crash

Ben Krupinski, 'builder to the stars,' killed in plane crash

A plane crash off the coast of Long Island claimed four victims, including noted builder Ben Krupinski. 

Ben Krupinski, a noted New York builder who constructed homes for Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley, Martha Stewart and other stars, was killed Saturday after his plane crashed into the ocean off an East Hampton Beach, the Long Island Business News reported.

Krupinski and three others were killed in the crash near Amagansett, New York, the East Hampton Town Police confirmed. The victims were identified as Krupinski, his wife, Bonnie Bistrian Krupinski, and 22-year-old grandson, William Maerov, all of East Hampton, as well as the pilot, Jon Dollard, 47, of Hampton Bays.

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The Piper PA-31 Navajo plane went down about one mile off shore near Indian Wells Beach at about 2:50 p.m., the New York Post reported.

Thunderstorms were in the area at the time of the crash, the Business News reported.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, but local pilot Bill Gardiner told the Post the weather had turned stormy.

“There was a very nasty thunderstorm going on,” Gardiner told the newspaper. “It was unexpected. There were very strong downdrafts.”

“We are stricken by this loss,” Capt. Kevin Reed, commander Sector Long Island Sound, said in a Coast Guard statement. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of the two recovered individuals.”

The couple’s real estate empire is worth a reported $150 million, the Post reported.