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Plane Crash Near Wolf and Hintz Kills 1, Injures 1

Wed December 22 2010 4:28 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=34555
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Wheeling police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday to a plane crash near Hintz Road and Wolf Road. A police officer on patrol reported a fire in the area of Wolf and Hintz just after 2:45 p.m. Simultaneously 9-1-1 calls were reporting a plane down. The plane was reported to be a single-engine aircraft and there was a report that a factory/warehouse building near Hintz and Chaddick was involved, but investigators later determined there was no structural damage to the building, known as the Acco building, 760 South Wolf Road.

Police upon arrival found a plane and a car on fire in a parking lot north of Hintz Road and west of Wolf Road near the Acco building. People from the Acco building helped one of the victims lying in the parking lot. White pieces of the plane were visible in the parking lot.

A witness reported an intense fire and also said that a man was able to get himself out of the plane. Another witness thought that the man was possibly ejected by the crash impact. He was found lying in the parking lot near the Acco building immediately after the crash. The man, investigators would learn, was the pilot, Todd Cole of Jacksonville, Illinois.

A Flight for Life helicopter was called to the scene. The landing zone was on Hintz Road near the crash site. Police shut down Hintz Road between Chaddick Drive and Wolf Road near the crash.

Todd Cole, 36, was transported from the scene to Level I Trauma Center Advocate Lutheran General Hospital with burn injuries. He was later transferred to Loyola University Medical Center burn unit. A second victim, Benjamin Van Hyning, 18, also of Jacksonville, was reported dead at the scene after he remained trapped in the plane that was well-involved in fire. Witnesses reported heavy black smoke and flames coming from the plane before the fire department arrived.

The FAA was on the scene by 4:00 p.m. — investigation is underway. The aircraft involved in the crash was a Beechcraft Sierra. The pilot contacted the tower, reporting engine trouble. He was cleared to land and had turned around for an approach when the crash occurred.

Hintz Road was re-opened by about 3:25 p.m. Wednesday. Minor damage to the roof area of the Acco building was visible from the parking lot.

CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

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