84 year old Hermitage resident, Dorothy Stockard, died when a small plane crash landed in a wheat field south of Kankakee in Illinois last Friday (July 5th). The other two occupants of the Beechcraft A36 Bonanza single engine aircraft, the pilot, Raymond Jakubiak and the other passenger, his wife, Wrenne Jakubiak, both  from Naperville, IL, were badly injured when the plane burst into flames after hitting the ground, but survived and received medical attention in Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Wrenne Jakubiak was the dead woman’s sister who died from her wounds in the hospital.

The plane had taken off from Nashville, bound for Chicago, when the pilot reported that he was encountering engine problems. He decided to make an emergency landing in a wheat field near the small town of Chebanse, about 10 miles south of Kanakakee in Illinois. The plane burst into flames on landing. 70 year old Wrenne Jakubuak has already been released from Loyola after treatment for her burn injuries, but her husband, 74, was still in the hospital’s Burn Unit at time of writing, but is expected to be “O.K.” according to his wife.

The plane was bought by the Jakubiaks six years ago. Federal crash investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have flown down to the site of the crash and will carry out an investigation into its cause. The Iroquois County Sheriff’s office are apparently assisting with enquiries, but no more will be known about the aircraft and the reasons for the engine failure and crash until the NTSB completes its report, which is expected to take around two weeks.