Dozens of Volunteers Aid in Plane Rescue Search

By: Joel Schipper
By: Joel Schipper

Moments after hearing of a plane crash in LaPorte County, Kankakee Township assistant Fire Chief Kevin Wheatbrook tried to get any and everybody to help. Due to the crash being in a muddy corn field, he knew he needed people with the proper gear.

Kevin said, “We started calling people on nextels who knew people that had four wheelers and got them all lined up ready to assist us.”

As NTSB investigators continued to search the football field size crash scene, it's the people who worked here hours earlier who gave them a jump on their day.

“Local farmers were helping us clear a path through. It's in standing corn so the corn had to be picked” Coroner John Sullivan told News Center 16. “It’s a very good effort by all the local fire departments, EMS, late at night under dark conditions. It was very difficult.”

More than 60 volunteers from the area combed meticulously up and down each corn row searching for victims and literally piecing together the planes wreckage. In the end, five bodies were found.


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