Our condolences go out to the families of some fine people who lost their lives in the crash of a plane roughly two miles shy of the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, IL early Tuesday morning.
BLOOMINGTON (Pantagraph) — Seven people likely died on impact when their small plane crashed early Tuesday morning east of Bloomington.
McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis identified the victims as pilot Thomas Hileman, 51, of Bloomington; Normal residents Aaron Leetch, 37; Andy Butler, 40; and Torrey Ward, 36; Jason Jones, 45, and Terry Stralow, 64, both of Bloomington; and Scott Bittner, 42, of Towanda.
She said Hileman, Leetch, Stralow and Jones had to be identified by dental records. All seven were found fastened in their seats.
Davis spoke at an evening press conference at Central Illinois Regional Airport, followed by spokesmen from the National Transportation Safety Board.
Davis would not say whether the crash involved a fire.
Hileman, Butler, Jones, Stralow and Bittner were Twin City area businessmen. Leetch and Ward were members of Illinois State University’s athletics department. All were returning from Indianapolis after the title game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.