The Piper PA 46 went down shortly after it took off from the Rantoul Airport, about 125 miles southwest of Chicago. The plane burst into flames upon impact.
A family member confirms the dead are Jon Buerkett, Dana Buerkett and their daughter Morgan, who attended the University of Chicago and was a member of the volleyball team.
Friends told the local newspaper the victims are from Champaign.
Rantoul Police Chief Paul Farber says severe weather was rolling into the area at the time of the crash.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.