Mansion Builder to the Stars Feared Dead in Plane Crash

Ben Krupinski, 70, is among four passengers in a crash off the coast of the Hamptons
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 3, 2018 3:00 PM CDT
Mansion Builder to the Stars Feared Dead in Plane Crash
A Piper PA-31 Navajo, similar to this small plane, crashed off the coast of the Hamptons on Saturday   (Getty)

A go-to builder for celebrity Hamptons getaways is feared dead after a plane went down off the coast of Amagansett, Long Island on Saturday. Ben Krupinski, whose clients included Martha Stewart and Billy Joel, was aboard the Piper PA-31 Navajo along with his wife, Bonnie, and grandson Will Maerov, 22. The pilot was 47-year-old Jon Dollard, who authorities say flew the Krupinski's plane into an unexpected storm, per ABC 7. However, the NTSB has not yet determined the exact cause of the crash. Two bodies were recovered and the Coast Guard on Sunday resumed the search for the other two people before suspending it, the AP reports. It was not immediately clear which of the four passengers had been recovered.

Bernard Krupinski grew up in East Hampton before starting his business, Ben Krupinski Builders, there. He and Bonnie were prominent members of the community, where they were beloved for their well-known philanthropy. According to the New York Post, the couple owned a real-estate empire worth some $150 million. Eastern Long Island is known for its celebrity presence, with many wealthy and prominent individuals spending time there, particularly in the summer months. Small planes and helicopters are popular, as a way to avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Long Island Expressway. (More Hamptons stories.)

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