In the final moments before his death, the pilot of a small airplane “heroically” weaved in between vehicles as he crash landed on an Illinois roadway, officials said.
Witnesses said they could hear the plane “sputter” overhead as it descended onto a street in Hanna City around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, according to the Peoria County Coroner’s Office.
Hanna City is a small town roughly 12 miles west of downtown Peoria.
While the pilot managed to avoid harming any bystanders during his desperate landing attempt, he couldn’t save himself or his passenger, and the plane slammed into a building along Farmington Road, according to the coroner.
The pilot was conscious when first responders arrived at the wreckage, but he was trapped inside, as was a female passenger, the statement said.
Once first responders freed him from the caved-in cockpit, “his condition rapidly declined,” the coroner said.
The passenger was unconscious and not breathing, and declared dead after she was removed from the plane and efforts to resuscitate her failed.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.