UPDATED: 7 dead following Bloomington airplane crash

UPDATED: 7 dead following Bloomington airplane crash

BLOOMINGTON– Whatever caused a Cessna plane to crash near Bloomington early Tuesday morning remains unknown to air traffic officials.

The small, twin engine, Cessna C414A, was carrying six passengers and a pilot on their way back from Indianapolis Monday night following the NCAA Basketball Championship game when it went down in a field near Bloomington.

Federal Aviation Administration officials said the plane was headed to Bloomington’s Central Illinois Regional Airport but went down short of its intended destination.

Among the seven killed are Pub ll Co-owner Terry Stralow, Scott Bittner, longtime owner of Bittner’s Locker in Eureka, and Illinois State assistant basketball coach Torrey Ward. Illinois State University Deputy Director of Athletics for external affairs Aaron Leetch was also among the victims in the crash, along with Jason Jones, Andy Butler, and pilot Tom Heileman.

During a news conference in Bloomington at noon on Tuesday, McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage said they couldn’t speculate as to what led to the crash.

According to the Bloomington Pantagraph, the plane is being towed to a secured hangar at CIRA for further investigation.

This story is still in progress and will be updated when more information becomes available.