Wake held for Round Lake dad, daughter killed in Fla. plane crash

March 31, 2014 6:10:56 PM PDT
A north suburban father and daughter killed when their small plane crashed in Florida were remembered Monday night.

Family and friends gathered for a wake at the Cultural and Civic Center in Round Lake Beach.

Jeffrey Bronken was killed in the crash on March 22. His 15-year-old daughter Katherine died a few days later.

The funeral is set for Tuesday at St. Bede Church in Ingleside.

Their plane nose-dived on March 22 after Jeffery Bronken reported fuel-related issues to air traffic controllers. He was killed in the crash; his daughter died several days later. A 15-year-old passenger survived.

The other teen remains in the hospital and doctors say she is stable.

The Bronkens and friend Keyana Linbo were on their way to Clearwater when Bronken's Piper Fixed Wing single-engine plane crashed near the Clearwater airport. The plane had taken off from Campbell Airport Grayslake Friday night.

"Jeff was a fantastic guy, always helping out wherever he could with everyone here in the neighborhood. Everybody knows him," Ken Hoxie, longtime friend, said.

The 53-year-old pilot was killed around 3 a.m. Saturday when the small plane he was piloting crashed onto a six-lane road in Florida. It hit power lines before crashing head first into a median.

"The power went out immediately at 4 a.m. Immediately after the power went out, I'd say that within 10 seconds I heard multiple sirens," said Brian Reitmeyer.

"I heard the crash, but I didn't know it was a plane," Dennis Martin said.

Bronken was a glass contractor who owned The Glass Man Inc., formerly known as Inman Glass. FAA records show the plane that crashed was owned by Bronken's Highland Park business.

"It's a shock," said Hoxie. "It's a shame. It's a fantastic family. You don't understand sometimes why these things happen, all we can do is pray."

This is not the first time the family has experienced a tragedy. Almost four years ago, Jeffrey Bronken's oldest daughter Christine Bronken died at the age of 20 in a snowmobile crash in Wisconsin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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