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updated: 11/29/2011 1:29 PM

Streamwood couple among dead in plane crash

Three killed when plane crashes on way to Wheeling

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  • Investigators sift through debris Tuesday after a small plane crashed late Monday night in Riverwoods.

      Investigators sift through debris Tuesday after a small plane crashed late Monday night in Riverwoods.
    Mark Welsh

  • Three people were killed and two injured in a plane crash Monday night in Riverwoods.

      Three people were killed and two injured in a plane crash Monday night in Riverwoods.
    Mark Welsh

  • Plane crash on Portwine Road near John McGuire home in Riverwoods on Tuesday, November 28th.

      Plane crash on Portwine Road near John McGuire home in Riverwoods on Tuesday, November 28th.
    Photo by home owner John McGuire

  • Video: John McGuire describes Riverwoods crash

  • Video: Riverwoods plane crash

 
 

Three people were killed and two were injured late Monday night when a small plane headed to Wheeling crashed into a heavily wooded area in Riverwoods.

The twin-engine Piper Navajo was a medical transport headed to Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling from Georgia when it crashed about 50 feet from a home on the 600 block of Portwine Road. Authorities said the pilot told air traffic control the plane was having fuel trouble.

Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey said two of the people were pronounced dead in Lake County, but the third was pronounced dead while being transported to a Cook County hospital.

He said Ilomae L. Bialek, 75, of Streamwood was pronounced dead in Lake County at the scene. Her husband, who was the patient of the medical transport plane, died in Cook County enroute to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Yancey said.

However, Yancey and officials from the Cook County Medical Examiners Office would not release the identity of the person.

The name of the third person who died in the crash is also being withheld, Yancey said, until the next of kin is contacted. The two injured people were taken to Advocate Condell in Libertyville.

The Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire District received a call at 10:47 p.m., reporting a brush fire. The first responders found the downed plane in flames.

The fire was quickly extinguished, and two or three people were trapped in the wreckage, Fire Chief Fred Kruger said.

Kruger said Tuesday morning the small plane had run out of fuel when it went down.

"The airplane is pretty well destroyed," Kruger said, noting that it landed between two houses on Portwine Road.

Resident John McGuire was inside with his wife and child when the crash occurred, but no one in the family was injured.

"It sounded a like a wind shear, a lot debris hitting the house," he said. "Two or three minutes later, I looked outside and there are six or eight ambulances."

He added that his wife said she felt the house shake.

He saw one person, whom he described as an older man, being taken in an hospital. McGuire said the man was moving.

Two blocks away, Arti Beff, 17, heard the crash while inside his house.

"It sounded like thunder. I didn't know what it was," he said. "It sounded like a really big thud, like a huge lightning bolt."

Officials from the National Transportation Safety are leading the investigation into the crash.

• Daily Herald news services contributed to this report.

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