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LI doctor, wife killed in plane crash in Massachusetts, officials say

Emergency responders at the site of a single-engine

Emergency responders at the site of a single-engine plane crash in Woburn, Massachusetts on Saturday. Dr. Michael Graver and his wife, Jodi Cohen, of Manhasset were killed in the crash. Credit: AP/Nicolaus Czarnecki

A prominent cardiac surgeon at North Shore University Hospital and his wife were killed Saturday when their single-engine plane crashed behind a home in Woburn, Massachusetts, authorities said.

Dr. L. Michael Graver, 65, the chief of adult cardiac surgery at North Shore, and his wife, Jodi Cohen, 55, both of Manhasset, were killed shortly before 11 a.m. when the aircraft crashed in a wooded area on Minchin Drive, according to Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan. Cohen was a Douglas Elliman real estate agent.

Graver, who authorities described as an experienced pilot, was flying at the time of the crash, Ryan said at an afternoon news conference.

The 2006 Columbia Aircraft LC41 left Republic Airport in Farmingdale about 9:30 a.m. and was scheduled to land at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts, just after 11 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Woburn police began receiving 911 calls regarding a plane crash shortly after 11 a.m., Ryan said. 

Responders located the bodies of Graver, who owned the plane, and Cohen, about four miles from the Hanscom field. No one on the ground was hurt and no homes in the area were damaged.

No criminality is suspected, Ryan said.

"The National Transportation Safety Board will determine probable cause of the accident," the FAA said in a statement.

The Middlesex district attorney's office, Massachusetts State Police, Woburn police and fire departments, the FAA, NTSB and the Aeronautics Division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation are all investigating the crash, officials said.

Cohen was a certified public accountant and a Long Island native who started her own company, Ask Jodi First, in 2013. 

Graver, a practicing surgeon for more than 40 years, specialized in cardiothoracic and vascular surgery and was a part-time professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University, records show.

Earlier this year, Graver was recognized as one of four cardiothoracic surgeons statewide with the lowest mortality rates among his patients compared with more than 140 cardiac surgeons evaluated statewide.

"Mike was an outstanding surgeon and a great guy,"  said Dr. Alan Hartman, senior vice president of Northwell Health’s cardiothoracic services. North Shore University Hospital is part of the Northwell Health system.

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