BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The company that owned the plane that crashed on I-55 in Lincoln this week, killing three people in the crash, is speaking out.
CEO for Synergy Flight Center Andrew Dustman on Friday said pilot Mitch Janssen, a former Bradley University baseball star, was the chief flight instructor for Synergy, and that the company is grieving.
“Mitch was an extremely gifted pilot and an outstanding young man,” Dustman said. “He was a positive influence in the aviation community with his professionalism, dedication, and generosity. His love of aviation was an inspiration to all; he will be greatly missed.”
“Out of respect for the families, our employees, and those impacted we will not release any additional information,” the CEO continued. “The wellbeing of the families and our employees is our primary concern.”
The Logan County Coroner earlier this week Janssen, a Princeville-native, was one of the victims. Urbana resident Kevin G. Chapman, 30, and 33-year-old Matthew R. Hanson of Wisconsin were identified as the other two victims from the crash.
The airplane, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, departed from the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington and came down just before 9 a.m. Tuesday in the middle of I-55 near exit 126 (Lincoln/Mason City exit). It became fully engulfed upon impact in the middle of the interstate. Multiple agencies responded to the scene to assist.