Pilot killed in Marengo plane crash ID'd as Robert Sherman of Poplar Grove

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Monday, December 12, 2016
One person was killed when a single-engine plane crashed overnight in Marengo.
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MARENGO, Ill. (WLS) -- A former Green Party candidate and activist died after his plane was found crashed in northwest suburban Marengo.

Fire crews were dispatched at 7:29 a.m. after someone spotted the wreckage of a single-engine plane in an area off of Meyer Road just north of Pleasant Grove Road, according to Marengo firefighter Joe Taylor.

The home-built Zenair CH601 small aircraft crashed in a field under "unknown circumstances" and the pilot was killed, according to FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro. The 63-year-old pilot, who was the only occupant, was identified as Robert Sherman of Poplar Grove, Ill.

McHenry County Coroner Anne L. Majewski confirmed that a man was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. An autopsy was preformed Monday morning, and dental records were matched to Sherman.

The crash appeared to have occurred sometime between Friday night and early Saturday morning, Taylor said.

The tail number of the plane provided by the National Transportation Security Board, N4218, was the same as that of a plane shown in a photograph on the website of activist and atheism advocate Rob Sherman. The plane in the photograph is an orange, Zenair CH601 with his name stenciled on the side.

Sherman ran as a Green Party candidate for the state's 5th Congressional District this year and was the Cook County Green Party chairman in 2012.

Previously, Sherman ran for state representative of Illinois 53rd Congressional District in 2008, according to his website. He was also a well-known advocate for issues surrounding the separation of church and state and atheism.

According to his website, Sherman is an airplane construction engineer and builds light sport planes for revenue.

The FAA and NTSB will be investigating the crash.

The plane was in the process of being moved to a secure facility on Saturday ahead of a winter storm, Keith Holloway, a spokesman for NTSB said.

"It looks like the team may reconvene on Monday for further examination and documentation of the aircraft," Holloway said.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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