Victims Identified In Wheeling Plane Crash
WHEELING, Ill. (CBS) – One man was killed and another injured in a small plane crash Wednesday in Wheeling. The victims are now being identified.
Illinois State Police identify 18-year-old Benjamin Van Hyning of Jacksonville, Ill., as the person killed. He was the only passenger.
According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, Van Hyning suffered smoke inhalation and thermal injuries from the plane crash and his death was ruled an accident.
The pilot is identified as Todd Cole, 36, also of Jacksonville. Cole remains in the hospital Thursday in critical condition.
The small, single-engine Beechcraft airplane took off from runway 34 at Chicago Executive Airport, according to FAA officials. The pilot was about 1/2 mile away from the runway when he reported a rough-running engine and requested to return.
The plane did turn back, but it crashed in a nearby parking lot before returning to the runway, according to the FAA.
Wheeling Fire Chief Keith MacIsaac said the injured person was conscious and alert with serious burns and apparent multiple fractures, and he was flown by Flight for Life to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
Firefighters say several people called 911 when the plane hit the roof of the warehouse and building taking a gas line with it.
It crushed one car and left a second one mangled.
“I saw that there was another person in the plane, but the flames were too hot,” said witness Rick Swearingen.
Crews spent several minutes getting the wreckage onto flat bed trucks Wednesday so they could take it to a secure location. The NTSB will then be able to take a closer look at it and piece together how the crash happened.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.