Plane crash following NCAA tourney claims seven, reports say

Tragedy struck following the NCAA tournament, as a plane took the lives of seven spectators of Monday’s final.

The Chicago Tribune reported late Tuesday evening that a small plane carrying seven people returning from the tournament final crashed and took the lives of all seven passengers.

According to the Tribune report, Scott Bittner and company took his own plane to Indianapolis.

They were due in to Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington on Tuesday evening, but their plane “dropped off radar” because of issues with “dense fog.” The plane was found in wreckage roughly two-and-a-half miles away from the airport.

According to the report, all seven passengers were still lanched in with seat belts when they were found.

Of the seven found in the wreckage, Illinois State University associate head basketball coach Torrey Ward and ISU department deputy’s director  Aaron Leech were included.

According to Yahoo! Sports report:

“The Cessna 414 twin-engine aircraft took off from Indianapolis and crashed just short of the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington after midnight, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

“The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating, but there was no initial word on the cause of the crash. News photos from near the scene showed dense fog.

“The airport was open and all systems, including its runway lighting, were functioning, though the tower had closed several hours earlier and handed responsibility to an air traffic control facility in Peoria. Radar contact was lost moments before the crash and a search was launched when the pilot failed to close out his flight plan. It took about three hours to find the wreckage.”

 

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to AP Images

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