Pilot Spoke of 'Weather Phenomenon' Before Deadly Crash

6 killed in Wisconsin Cessna crash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2017 2:24 AM CDT
6 Killed in Wisconsin Plane Crash
In this image made from a video provided by WAOW debris covers the road on Sunday, July, 2, 2017, near Phillips, Wis.   (Courtesy WAOW via AP)

The pilot of a Cessna 421 and all five passengers were killed early Saturday when the aircraft crashed in a forest in northern Wisconsin, authorities say. National Transportation Safety Board investigators say the pilot mentioned a "weather phenomenon" to air traffic controllers shortly before the plane dropped off the radar near the town of Phillips, USA Today reports. The Price County Sheriff's Office says the plane was carrying a group of men heading from Chicago to Canada for a fishing trip, the AP reports. The Tioga Elementary School in Bensenville, Ill., has identified two of the victims as physical education teacher Thomas DeMauro and maintenance director Charles Tomlitz.

Price County Sheriff's Lt. Gabe Lind says a volunteer who owned a helicopter helped rescue workers locate the wreckage, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Volunteers spent the night searching an area that included thick woods and swamp, the Chicago Tribune reports. Sheriff Brian Schmidt says local bar owner Sandy Jensen went "above and beyond" when she heard about the hungry volunteers and sent over dozens of cheeseburgers, along with candy from the Fourth of July parade. "That's what the world's all about is people helping people," she tells WSAW. (On Friday, a Cessna crashed on a California freeway.)

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