Latest: 12:35 pm, 8/12/12, Sunday
TAYLORVILLE-- Federal agents and local crews spent Sunday sifting through the wreckage and cleaning up the crash site. The National Transportation Safety Board says an official cause of the crash won't be known for six months to a year.
A preliminary report is expected to be released within the next two weeks. Investigators are still trying to track down and interview some of the parachuters.
Anyone with information should call Taylorville police.
Update: 9:30 pm, 8/11/12, Saturday
TAYLORVILLE -- Investigators released the name of the pilot who died in a plane crash. The Christian County Coroner says it was 30-year old Brandon Sparrow, of Augusta, IL. Authorities say he's a hero after carefully crashing his plane into a backyard. They say he avoided homes, cars and pedestrians in the area.
Original: 4:30 pm, 8/11/12, Saturday
TAYLORVILLE -- Investigators say a pilot who crashed his plane in a neighborhood didn't survive. Firefighters say it happened around 11:30 am near Morton and
England Street, a residential area.
They say the plane took off from
Taylorville Airport minutes beforehand. Firefighters believe the plane was carrying 12-skydivers who were able to parachute safely before the plane crashed.
Officials call the pilot a "hero" for getting the passengers out while
trying to land the plane. Investigators aren't releasing his name at this time. Authorities say the plane didn't explode or catch fire after crashing.
Pieces of the plane broke off and landed in neighboring yards. Surrounding homes were evacuated as a precaution. The FAA is on the scene investigating. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.