Former mayor, Sangamon Co. coroner among 3 dead in twin engine plane crash near Springfield airport, sheriff says

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Former Springfield mayor Frank Edwards and current Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards, who were married, are two of the three people killed when a twin engine plane crashed several miles outside the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport outside Springfield Tuesday afternoon, the Sangamon County sheriff said.

Officials said they received a call to the tower that an aircraft had crashed about seven miles south and east of the airport in a rural residential area. According to a homeowner, the plane crashed in back of a house.

The homeowner said his neighbor called to say the plane had crashed in his backyard, the man told WICS-TV in Springfield. He said there was no damage to his house or property, other than possibly a burned fence.

Officials described the plane as a light twin engine aircraft that would be able to hold up to six passengers. All three people and a dog on board of the plane were killed.

The Sangamon County Sheriff's Department says the pilot of the twin-engine Piper Aerostar reported having trouble with the plane's instruments prior to the crash. Officials said it missed two houses before crashing.

Officials said the plane was headed to Springfield from Huntsville, Alabama. It originally took off from Florida's Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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