A vigil is being held tonight (April 7, 2015) for four of the victims who belonged to the same church in Bloomington-Normal and flowers are everywhere around town and around the campus in honor of seven men who died in a tragic plane crash early this morning, all part of the Illinois State community. All of the men who died are described as loving husbands, fathers and leaders in the community and their loss is found in the faces of everyone in town, as many are visibly shaken and tears are being shed by so many. The town is home to Illinois State University (ISU) and the students and those who live there all feel like a close-knit family. They all can’t believe that such a tragedy struck home. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is on the scene along with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Officials held a press conference at noon of initial observations of the crash of the Cessna turboprop plane. A finding of probable cause is not expected from the government agency for at least a year. That press conference can be viewed here: http://www.centralillinoisproud.com/story/d/story/update-cira-gives-new-details-on-early-morning-pla/36063/Tlb8SgkdbUePSIEBE_xX0A
The group was returning from Indianapolis after having watched the final game of the NCAA basketball finals. The plane took off at about 11 p.m., according to authorities, and Peoria air traffic control had contact with the pilot because there was no air traffic controller on duty past 10 p.m. at Bloomington’s Central Illinois Regional Airport. The plane is believed to have crashed shortly after midnight less than two miles from that airport. It was located in a field around 3 a.m.