Small-plane crash killed man, injured his son


MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Roads around Meriden Markham Airport will be blocked Tuesday morning as federal investigators try to figure out what caused a deadly plane crash on Hanover Street, near that airport.

Authorities believe a father and son were practicing take offs and landings when the crash happened. The son survived, the father did not.

Heavy flames badly burned the small plane as that thick black smoke billowed into the air. Now, police say just after 6 p.m., a 911 call came in about it. The two went for a flight together and something went wrong.

Police say the plane went through a chain link fence on the east side of the airport. Then it crossed over Hanover Street where it crashed.

Joseph Thomas Tomanelli
Joseph Thomas Tomanelli, MD (Hartford HealthCare Medical Group/WTNH)

Police say Cheshire’s 56-year-old Dr. Joseph Tomanelli was killed. His 21-year-old son Daniel Tomanelli, of Hamden, was rescued and taken to Yale New Haven Hospital, where he’s expected to be OK.

At this point, the plane is just a pile of charred parts. But the FAA and NTSB will be out here Tuesday morning investigating what is left.

It’s still unknown who was flying the plane at the time it crashed. Police say Hanover Road, which is where the airport is located, will most likely be closed through the morning.

Dr. Tomanelli worked for Hartford Healthcare Group in Wallingford. Below is a statement from them on his passing:

MidState Medical Center, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group and all of us at Hartford HealthCare offer our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Joseph Tomanelli, his family, friends, colleagues and patients. We are incredibly shocked and saddened to learn of this tragedy – Dr. Tomanelli was a well-known and esteemed primary care physician in our community for years and will be tremendously missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who knew him.”

WEB EXTRA: 911 Calls from the Wallingford Plane Crash