Three people, including an elderly couple, died in a plane crash in the Riverwoods suburbs in the Chicago area on Monday night.
Reports claim there were five people on board the small medical plane that was transporting an 80-year-old patient. John Bialek and his wife, Ilomae, 75, were among the dead, and the other passengers included a paramedic and the two copilots. The medical issue that Bialek was being treated for is not yet known.
The plane was on course for the Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling, and was only five miles from its destination when the pilot reported fuel problems. The Piper Navajo aircraft plunged into the suburb area and crashed into the trees not far from a family house. Authorities marked the incident near Portwine and Orange Brace Roads at 10:50 p.m. Monday night.
Ron Schaberg, the president of Trans North Aviation, who owns the plane, shared details about the flight. Apparently, the medical aircraft was cleared earlier in the day, and picked up the elderly patient from West Palm Beach, Fla., at 6 p.m. The plane made a stop in Jesup, Ga., along the way, and everything seemed fine until the final minutes when the pilot reported the trouble.
Firefighters shared with the Chicago Tribune that when they arrived on the scene, they found three survivors trapped behind a small fire in the plane. They managed to free them, but one later died. The two survivors were transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
This was the first plane crash in the airline’s history that stretches more than 30 years, and Schaberg could only express his grief over the event.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be starting an investigation into the accident and try to determine what exactly happened.