Coroner and Her Former Mayor Husband Killed in Small Plane Crash Alongside Another Person and Dog

A third, unidentified person and a dog were also killed

Cinda and Frank Edwards
Photo: Facebook

A county coroner in Illinois died on Tuesday in a small plane crash, along with her husband, another person and a dog.

Cinda Edwards, the coroner for Sangamon County, and her husband Frank Edwards, who ran for the mayor of Springfield last year, were among those to perish in the crash, NPR Illinois reported Tuesday. A third, unidentified person and a dog were also killed in the accident.

The three passengers were aboard a Piper Aerostar traveling to the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield after stopping for gas in Alabama from their initial departure point of Florida.

The plane went down in flames about seven miles south of Springfield, Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.

Weather and technical issues seemed to be factors in the plane’s crash in a backyard adjacent to a farm field just yards away from the houses nearby, according to Campbell.

“It was probably within about 75 feet of a residence, so that could have been problematic,” Campbell said.

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“The tower reported that the plane was having trouble on approach due to weather and its instruments, they reported, and the plane evidently tried to make a circle around Springfield where they could try to come in again, and at that time is when the tower lost contact with the plane,” Campbell said, adding that the FAA had arrived on scene to conduct an investigation.

At the time of the press conference, no one aboard had been identified by authorities.

Both Cinda and Frank made careers out of civil service. Cinda has been the Sangamon County coroner since 2011, and her husband spent many years on the city council.

After being elected as alderman for Springfield in 2003, Frank reportedly served as Mayor briefly from 2010-2011 after the death of Mayor Tim Davlin, according to NPR’s report Tuesday. He was elected as Ward 1 Alderman again, then serving until 2015, the outlet said.

Frank ran for Mayor last year, but lost the election to incumbent Jim Langfelder, NPR reported in April 2019.

Langfelder told NPR on Tuesday that the crash was “a tragic loss of life,” but did not identify the passengers.

The Sangamon County coroner’s office and sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. Langfelder did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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