Reporting Suzanne Le Mignot
WILTON CENTER, Ill. (CBS) – Federal authorities were investigating the cause of a fatal plane crash near Joliet on Tuesday.
A 74-year-old man died when his small plane crashed in Manhattan Township in southern Will County, spreading wreckage across a field in Wilton Center, about 15 miles southeast of Joliet.
The Will County Coroner’s office has identified the man as Larry Allan Diffle, of Bemidji, Minn. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.
The Federal Aviation Administration and Will County Sheriff’s police said the plane went down around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The plane was obliterated upon impact.
Hundreds of pieces of paper, magazines, and newspapers were scattered around the wreckage on a beanfield in a remote part of Will County.
Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were at the scene Tuesday night, with large light towers illuminating the scene, sorting through the wreckage.
CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl said the wreckage pattern implies the plane was cartwheeling before impact at a high rate of speed.
Diffle was ejected from the plane. The twin-engine Hawker Beechcraft BE-58 was registered to Bemidji Aviation in Minnesota.