The former mayor of Springfield, Illinois, was among the three people killed in a small plane crash Jan. 28 in a field east of the Illinois capitol city.
The Sangamon County, Illinois coroner’s office identified the people killed in the plane crash as former Springfield Mayor Frank Edwards, his wife Cinda Edwards, who served as Sangamon County coroner since 2011, and John Evans, a resident of Glenarm, Illinois. Officials reported that a dog aboard the plane also died in the crash.
According to ABC News, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that the plane, a twin-engine Piper Aerostar, had left Huntsville, Alabama, earlier in the day to refuel. The plane originally took off from Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport in Florida.
The plane was attempting to land at Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport in Springfield when the pilot began to experience problems. Moments before the plane went down, the pilot told air traffic controllers that he was having trouble with the plane’s instruments and the weather conditions.
Sangamon County Sheriff’s Jack Campbell told reporters at a press conference Tuesday that the plane was circling around Springfield in an attempt to “try to come in again.” He said the tower lost contact with the airplane at that time.
The plane crashed into a field in the suburbs east of Springfield, narrowly missing some homes. Surveillance video from a resident’s Nest camera shows the plane crash-landing before disappearing beneath the tree line. Moments later a plume of black smoke billows up from the crash site.
Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the plane crash along with the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone who witnessed the plane crash or saw or heard anything before or after the crash is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office or the NTSB.
“My heart breaks for the families of those involved in this tragedy,” Illinois State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), said in a written statement. “Cinda and Frank Edwards were devoted public servants to the communities of Springfield and Sangamon County. I ask everyone to join me in sending heartfelt condolences to the Edwards family.”
Mike Andrews, a lawyer in the firm’s Personal Injury and Products Liability section, focuses much of his practice on aviation accident litigation. He has represented people seriously injured in aviation crashes, and the families of those killed in both civilian and military airplane crashes and helicopter crashes. Currently, Mike represents family members of victims in the Ethiopian Airlines crash involving the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.