My Price County Administrator
Registered: Jan 05, 2012
| Fatal Plane Crash -- UPDATED on 8/7/2017
Price County Sheriff Brian S. Schmidt reports his department is investigating a fatal airplane crash. On July 1, 2017 at 3:21 a.m., the Price County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Air Marine Operations Center, of an aircraft which dropped altitude quickly and radio contact was lost. Wreckage was located in the area of State Highway 111 and US Highway 8 in the Township of Harmony.
Responding to the crash were the Price County Sheriff’s Office, Prentice Fire Department, Phillips Fire Department, Kennan-Georgetown Fire Department, Catawba-Harmony Fire Department, Ogema Fire Department, Fifield Fire Department, Hawkins Fire Department, Prentice Ambulance Service, and the Price County Coroner’s Office.
The NTSB and FAA have been contacted and are assisting with the investigation.
At this time, State Highway 111 from County Road J to US Highway 8 is closed.
The accident remains under investigation by the Price County Sheriff’s Office, NTSB and FAA. Names are not being released at this time pending notification of family members.
Source: Price County Sheriff's Office
***UPDATE (5:40 p.m. on 7-1-2017)
Price County Sheriff Brian S. Schmidt reports his department continues to investigate a fatal plane crash with the assistance of the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
A Cessna 421, which reportedly took off from the Chicago area en route to Canada for a fishing trip, dropped altitude quickly and lost contact with the Air Marine Operations Center, who reported the incident to the Sheriff's Office.
There were no survivors.
***UPDATE (4:30 & 6:25 p.m. on 7-2-2017)
According to a statement issued by the co-principals, Mr. Azcoitia and Mr. Kersten, of Tioga Elementary School, located in Bensenville, Illinois, two of the six victims of the plane crash were staff members at their school. Thomas DeMauro was a physical education teacher, and Charles (Chuck) Tomlitz was the GCA maintenance director for BSD2.
"This tragedy has caused a tremendous loss to our community," the district said. "Mr. DeMauro was loved by his students beyond measure, someone who everyone knew and remembered from their school years or living in our community. His students, fellow faculty members, community, and friends are in shock." A GoFundMe page has been created at http://www.gofundme.com/tom-chuck-memorials.
Kyle DeMauro, a young adult son of Thomas DeMauro, was also a victim in the tragedy.
The plane had taken off from Waukegan, Illinois. According to the NTSB, the pilot radioed air traffic controllers regarding the weather just before the plane crashed.
Plane debris is believed to have covered around a quarter of a mile radius from the crash site. Since the crash is being investigated, if you find debris, report it to the police.
***UPDATE (4:10 a.m. on 7-3-2017)
According to FAA records, the 1979 Cessna 421C plane is owned by Sky King Flying Service, Inc, located in Delaware. It is unclear if the pilot owned the plane or was renting it, but the pilot was up to date on licensing and certifications.
***UPDATE (1:35 p.m. on 7-3-2017)
As of July 3rd, all names have been released in the crash. The victims were:
Kevin James King, 70, of Bensenville, IL
James Francis, 63, of Norco, CA
Kyle Demauro, 21, of Bensenville, IL
Thomas Demauro 56, of Bensenville, IL
Charles Tomlitz, 69, of Addison, IL
George Tomlitz, 45, from Brookfield, IL
More information will be released as it becomes available.
***UPDATE (4:00 p.m. on 7-3-2017)
Price County Sheriff Brian S. Schmidt reports his epartment has concluded their on-site investigation into a small plane crash which occurred on July 1, 2017. The wreckage has been removed from the area and taken to a secure location for further investigation by NTSB investigators, as part of the agency’s continuing investigation.
In general terms, the NTSB releases a preliminary report about an accident investigation within about 10 days from the completion of its on-scene investigative work. Final reports, that include the probable cause of an accident, are generally completed and publically released within 12 to 18 months from the date of the accident.
Source: Price County Sheriff's Office
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a preliminary report stating that even though the pilot radioed in asking about possible weather conditions shortly before the crash, bad weather was likely not a factor given the closest storm was about 25 miles away.
The Cessna 421 took a slight left turn and then a descending right turn at about 10,000 to 10,500 feet above sea level. After the right turn, the airplane descended rapidly and radio contact was lost. There were no distress calls from the pilot. It is believed the airplane broke up and then crashed nose first into the ground.
Plane parts were spread over an area about a quarter of a mile. Debris was found on Hwy. 111 near Catawba. The main wreckage was found about 900 feet off the highway in a muddy and heavily wooded area. The area has heavy brush and a small stream nearby. A 9-foot crater was created by the impact from one of the engines.
A witness who was driving home reported hearing engine noise, then the noise stopped, and then he heard engine noise again. He then saw what he thought were lights from an airplane but then those lights went out. Another witness reported hearing a loud sound, but she did not see an airplane.
The crash remains under investigation.
[Edited by My Price County Administrator on Aug 07, 2017 at 06:56 AM]