Cessna 414 Crash Kills Seven on Trip from NCAA Championship

Airplane crashes on return flight.

NTSB Cessna 414 Crash

NTSB Cessna 414 Crash

Courtesy of the NTSB

A Cessna 414 carrying seven people on their way back from the NCAA Championship crashed in a farm field in central Illinois early Tuesday, killing everyone aboard.

The twin-engine airplane was en route from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Bloomington, Illinois, when it went down approximately two miles east of its intended destination of Central Illinois Regional Airport. Two constituents of Illinois State University’s athletics department were among those killed in the crash, including deputy director of athletics Aaron Leech and associate head basketball coach Torrey Ward.

Early reports indicated only five people were aboard the plane, but officials later said the Cessna was in fact carrying seven, all of whom perished in the accident.

The Cessna 414 took off from Indianapolis around 11 p.m. Monday after the NCAA Men's Basketball national title game, and officials say the airplane encountered severe fog as it neared its destination. Officials say they lost contact with the airplane around 12:15 a.m., and they are unsure whether or not an emergency transmission was issued. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

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