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1 dead, 1 hospitalized after small plane crashes in Bolingbrook parking lot

Photo of the Bolingbrook plane crash in a parking lot. (senbeatz)
September 26, 2013 5:16:52 AM PDT
A small plane crashed in a Bolingbrook parking lot on Wednesday, killing a woman and leaving a man hospitalized. The plane crashed and burst into flames near a Chase Bank in the southwest suburb of Chicago.

Bolingbrook Plane Crash Pictures

The names of the woman who was killed and the man who was injured have not been released. The man was initially transported to Advent Bolingbrook hospital in critical condition, but was airlifted to the Loyola University Medical Center's Burn Unit in Maywood.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday night that the single-engine plane originated from Scott County Marshall Field in Georgetown, Kentucky. It had been attempting to land at Clow Airport when it crashed into a nearby parking lot. According to the FAA, there were two people on board: one was killed and the other injured.

Around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, the plane "crashed into a tree, light pole and then several vehicles" parked at the Chase Bank at Weber and Boughton, according to Bolingbrook Police Lt. Mike Rompa.

"It exploded right away," witness Cherise McGee said. "I couldn't see anything of the plane."

What remains of their plane is still on the scene. There are large pieces of the aircraft just sitting in this parking lot, and the foam on the ground that was used to douse the flames. Remarkably, nobody on the ground was injured.

"The plane is heavily damaged, almost unrecognizable," Lt. Rompa said.

Cell phone video shows the aftermath of the crash: fire, smoke, and witnesses rushing to help.

"I got as close as I could over there. And we were screaming for people, if there was anybody that could hear us or was in there. But the plane was engulfed in flames," said Mike Grohar, witness.

Mike Grohar was working at a business next door and saw a man on fire, feet from the plane's wreckage. Cell phone video shows that male victim on the ground.

"We just kept telling him to roll, trying to get him as far away from the plane as possible. And he just kept asking to get his wife out of the plane," said Grohar.

"It was hard to tell if anyone was in the cars, because the fire was that massive," witness Seneca Jamison said. Jamison said the police officers got there and stopped traffic "as soon as possible. The fire and ambulances came right after."

"As soon as it crashed, it was just a pile of flames," Jamison said. Moments before the crash, Connor Hale was in his car yards away, headed to that bank.

"Instantly I was shocked. I was shaking. I'm still a little shaken up. I mean, nothing like this ever happens. I mean, I'm still a little shaky even now," said Connor Hale, witness.

On Wednesday night, investigators were inspecting the still-smoldering wreckage.

Witness George Malek says, before the crash, the plane was doing touch-and-go landings at Clow Airport-- a common exercise for student pilots.

"The plane's coming up, and it's rolling, and then it just (shows with his hand)... one of these," said George Malek, Witness.

ABC7's Eric Horng asks, "So, almost perpendicular to the ground it appeared?"

"I would guess, yes," said Malek.

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the crash. The FAA says five minor crashes have occurred at or near Clow airport since 1983, none fatal. Clow is home to nearly 80 single-engine aircraft. The airport also hosts an airplane and helicopter flight training school.


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