Kentucky couple dies in Bolingbrook plane crash
By Tina Akouris firstname.lastname@example.org September 26, 2013 12:02PM
Updated: October 28, 2013 7:29AM
The husband and wife from Kentucky who died in a Bolingbrook plane crash were remembered Thursday as extraordinary and passionate people, while investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived on the scene and attempted to figure out why the single-engine plane went down in a bank parking lot.
Killed in the crash were Dr. Narayan Venguswamy, 63, and his wife, Jay, from Georgetown, Ky. Jay Venguswamy died at the scene. Narayan Venguswamy died Thursday morning at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.
The husband and wife worked at Georgetown Community Hospital, where Venguswamy was a general surgeon and his wife was his office manager. Venguswamy worked there for 27 years and was known as Dr. Vengu.
“He loved to fly, and it was a hobby of his,” hospital spokeswoman Cindy Wesley said.
Wesley said the couple left behind two children but did not specify their ages or genders.
Venguswamy went to the Armed Forces Medical School and studied general surgery at Bombay Hospital in Bombay, India. He did his residency at Waterbury Hospital in Waterbury, Conn.
Venguswamy was trying to land at Bolingbrook’s Clow Airport Wednesday afternoon just after 5 p.m. Joseph DePaulo, the airport’s manager, said that Venguswamy was coming in for a landing from the north to south and attempted to take another approach — a move that DePaulo says is not uncommon.
“He decided to come back around because he didn’t like the way he was coming in,” DePaulo said. “If the pilot doesn’t like one little thing or something doesn’t seem right, they will perform a go-around.”
DePaulo, who has worked at Clow since 1998, said what Venguswamy did was not all that unusual. DePaulo also said the airport sees between 50,000 to 70,000 operations per year. The airport has one runway for general aviation.
“We’ve had blown tires, little things, but nothing as tragic as this,” DePaulo said.
The Venguswamys took off from the Georgetown Scott County Regional Airport. James Toole, the airport’s manager, said the couple was headed to Bolingbrook and that the trip was supposed to take about two hours.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were at the scene Thursday, sorting through the wreckage and taking pictures of the scene. The Chase bank branch at 262 S. Weber Road, where the plane landed in flames, was closed Thursday.
NTSB investigator Josh Lindberg said one witness told investigators that the Cirrus SR-20 plane appeared to have briefly touched down on the runway and took off again at a low altitude before it crashed. Authorities, however, are still investigating the crash and will be for some time, he said.
Authorities were sifting through the rubble, where not far away a makeshift memorial had been set up. They were taking the plane away, part of it was on a flatbed tow truck.
“We’ve only been out here a few hours today, so we don’t know a whole lot,” Lindberg said.
Witnesses to the crash from neighboring businesses weighed in on what they saw when the single-engine Cirrus aircraft went down.
George Steimer, the owner of WineStyles across the parking lot from the bank, said he initially thought it was a truck accident because of the loud crash.
Steimer said he called 911 when he saw the plane clip a pole. Then a young man came running toward him asking if Steimer had a fire extinguisher.
Steimer was approaching the wreckage when he saw Venguswamy get out of the plane. There were multiple explosions after that, Steimer said.
“Everybody was running over to help,” Steimer said. “The man was fully engulfed in flames.”
Todd Jenkins, a manager at Penn Station, said he saw the plane on fire and then two nearby cars caught fire and exploded. The drivers of the black Honda Pilot SUV and a blue van that caught fire and exploded were inside the bank at the time of the crash.
“It’s pretty sad now that we found out that the man passed away,” Jenkins said. “It was surreal. It’s like a movie that’s being made.”
Contributing: Frank Vaisvilas