Doctors Killed in Palos Hills Plane Crash: Hospital

Small plane landed just feet from a home in the densely populated area

Three people were killed after a small plane crashed Sunday night in southwest suburban Palos Hills, just feet from a house.

The plane, a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron, crashed at about 10:40 p.m. in the 10100 block of South 86th Court, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said. It had departed from Midway International Airport on its way to Lawrence, Kansas.

Local fire officials confirmed all three on board were killed.

Officials at Stormont-Vail HealthCare in northeast Kansas confirmed two physicians from the hospital were among the three killed in the crash. The third person, also a physician, was the wife of one of the Stormont-Vail physicians.

Tausif Rehman was a neurosurgeon at the facility, Ali Kanchwala was a pulmonologist and Maria Javaid, wife of Kanchwala, was an interventional cardiologist at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, hospital officials said Monday.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office could not confirm the victim's identities as of Monday evening.

“Dr. Rehman and Dr. Kanchwala were extremely valued, highly skilled and beloved members of our staff,” said Randy Peterson, president and chief executive officer of Stormont-Vail HealthCare. “We are heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these individuals and the staff who worked closely with them. These physicians were deeply committed to their patients and to bringing the best of care to our community. We also extend our deepest sympathies to the Providence Medical Center staff for the loss of Dr. Javaid.”

It's not clear what caused the crash, but police said Monday there were reports of possible engine trouble before the plane went down. Deputy Chief James Boie said some residents heard a plane making sputtering sounds moments before it came crashing down.

John Brannen of the National Transportation Safety Board said a preliminary investigation shows the plane nosedived and crashed about five minutes into its flight.

Though the plane landed about 15 feet from a home, which suffered some minor damage, it went down in a field and no one on the ground was injured. Video of the scene showed debris scattered everywhere in the densely populated area at 101st and 86th Court.

"I heard the noise," said Sue D'Alessio, who lives about a block away. "Heard the plane go overhead, and not only did I hear it, I felt it, and I jumped out and everyone went running outside."

"I stood right next to what looked like a seat and fuselage in the trees," Mike D'Alessio said, "and I was looking for damage to houses and I couldn't see anything."

The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified and is leading the investigation. The plane is registered to Arc Aviation out of Lawrence, according to the FAA.

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