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Illinois grandparents die in plane crash en route to celebrate Thanksgiving with family

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Family and friends in a small Illinois town mourn the loss of two grandparents who died in a plane crash while traveling for Thanksgiving.

Joseph and Patty Kreher, of Freeburg, Illinois, died Saturday when their Piper PA-30 small twin-engine plane crashed in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, around 11:15 am. The pair had taken off from the downtown St. Louis Cahokia airport, made a stopover in London, Kentucky, and then crashed near a Winston-Salem airport, KSDK-TV reported.

Authorities with the National Safety Transportation Board are investigating the cause of the crash. Aviation safety investigator Pete Wentz told the local news station that the pilot had been communicating with the airport radio tower that there was a problem before the plane crashed.

“The pilot communicated that he needed to circle the airport for a second attempt and during the maneuver, the aircraft lost control and hit the ground,” Wetnz said.

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While the investigation is ongoing, the city of Freeburg mourns the loss of its neighbors.

“It’s going to be difficult for everyone who knew Joe and Patty,” Freeburg Mayor Seth Speiser told KSDK.

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The couple were well known and liked in the town of 4,500.

“I knew Joe and Patty, they had a machine shop out of 159, very popular people in the area,” Speiser said.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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