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Fatal plane crash in central Illinois

Seven people lost their lives late Tuesday night after a private aircraft crashed in central Illinois. While officials are not yet releasing the names of the accident victims, Illinois State University President Larry Dietz stated that the university’s athletic department’s deputy director for external relations Aaron Leetch and Torrey Ward, the associate head basketball coach, were among those killed in the accident. Those aboard the flight were returning from the NCAA basketball tournament in Indianapolis.

After leaving from Indianapolis, the Cessna 414 twin-engine aircraft lost contact with the Peoria air traffic control facility just before midnight, when the plane is thought to have crashed. While there has been no word from the National Transportation Safety Board—who was investigating the case—photos from near the scene have shown dense fog in the area.

The events of Tuesday night are tragic; our sincere condolences go out to the families of those who lost their lives in the accident.