Illinois officials confirmed the deaths of three people who were in a small plane that crashed on the southbound lanes of Interstate 55 in Lincoln Tuesday morning.
The aircraft, a single-engine Cessna 172, crashed onto the highway a few minutes before 9 a.m., bursting into flames on impact. Illinois State Police said the aircraft became fully engulfed in fire after the crash, according to WREX 13 of Rockford, Illinois, and WLS Chicago.
Authorities have not released the identities of the three crash victims. There were no reports of any others on the plane or injuries on the ground.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a statement saying, “the plane was destroyed on impact.” The agency added that it will investigate the crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB will lead the investigation.
When probing airplane crashes, NTSB investigators look into the pilot’s training and decision-making during flight, the plane and any indications of manufacturing or maintenance deficiencies, and the environment, such as weather conditions and air traffic control communications.
The investigators typically spend the first several days documenting and gathering evidence from the crash scene and searching for any witnesses who saw, heard, or captured the plane on video.
Police responding to the crash said the plane went down near mile marker 126. Traffic in the southbound lanes of I-55 is being diverted around the crash site. The northbound lanes remain open.
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.