The Wheeling Plane Crash

Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.Often the story behind a news article is just as (and sometimes more) interesting than the finished product the public reads. This is the behind the scene story of the time I covered a plane crash for the newspaper.

The plan crashed near the parking lot and entrance of the Foxboro Apartment complex, 470 Foxboro Dr., in Wheeling on June 25.

The plan crashed near the parking lot and entrance of the Foxboro Apartment complex, 470 Foxboro Dr., in Wheeling on June 25.

It was about 8:30 p.m. and I was still at a Niles village board meeting. The trustees had already gone through most of the important business on the agenda and were now talking in circles about companies that were bidding for the village’s information technology contract.

As my mind began to wander, I decided to check the twitter app on my phone. The third tweet from the top was a bulletin that there had been accident at the Chicago Executive Airport about 20 minutes north of me.

I looked at my watch. Reports I found online were secondhand and sketchy, but they all agreed that the plane had gone down around 8:20 p.m. From what I could tell there weren’t any broadcast jockeys or other print reporters on the scene yet. I turned around and looked at the other journalists that were covering the Niles meeting. They were busy taking notes and I was pretty sure they didn’t know a plane had crashed nearby.

After looking up the fastest route to the crash I quickly packed my belongings into my messenger bag and left the village boardroom, walking quickly to my car. Once I was behind the wheel I gunned the gas and tuned the radio to WBBM to see if there was any more info on the crash. Continue reading