LAWRENCE County, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) – Federal aviation officials and Lawrence County, Ill. authorities are working the site of a plane crash a few miles north of the county airport.
The pilot and only person on the plane is preliminarily believed to be Knox County, Indiana, Judge Ryan Johanningsmeier.
“Official identification is pending and will be released by the Lawrence County coroner’s office,” Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom said.
According to a news release from Cottom, his 911 dispatchers got a call just before 5 a.m. Saturday about an overdue aircraft to the Lawrence County, Ill. airport.
A deputy was sent from Sullivan County to Lawrence County to investigate. The deputy learned the pilot had stopped briefly at the Sullivan County airport to refuel before heading on to Lawrence’s airport.
A search began on the land between the airports, with assistance being requested from an Indiana State Police helicopter but it was reportedly too foggy for take off.
“Shortly after 8 a.m. a local pilot reported what appeared to be wreckage, approximately 3 miles north of the Lawrence County airport,” the release from Cottom stated.
Lawrence County Illinois Coroner Shannon R. Steffey issued a statement saying that the National Transportation Safety Board, FAA, and the Lawrence County Coroner’s Office is
continuing to investigate the cause of the crash. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. The
manner and cause of death, as well as positive identification of the pilot is pending at this time.