An Aurora attorney and another Illinois resident were among five injured when a small plane crashed into a grocery store in DeLand, Fla., Monday evening.
Kim Presbrey, a managing partner of Presbrey and Associates law firm in Aurora, Illinois was traveling on the experimental Sea Wind 3000 plane when it crashed into a Publix supermarket just 2-miles after take off.
"We've been very close friends for almost 40 years. He's one of the more remarkable attorneys and remarkable gentlmen I've ever known," Presbrey's colleague, Bill Weir, said Tuesday. "He has supported everything from athletic teams to individuals. He gives a lot of free legal advice."
Presbrey's wife and grown children were said to be at his bedside Tuesday afternoon. Another Illinois resident was reportedly on-board, but has not been named.
The crash shocked residents of the town, which is located about 50 miles from Orlando. A man is heard yelling "Get out! Get out!" in 911 tapes released after the crash.
Emergency dispatch tapes captured the panic as customers fled the store Monday evening. The plane plunged through the roof of a Publix supermarket in DeLand, about 40 miles north of Orlando.
"Publix is on fire!" a woman from inside the supermarket said in a 911 call. "The store is on fire! OK. We got to go."
Three customers were hurt, and two people aboard the plane were hospitalized in Orlando. All of the injuries came from burns, said Luke Schiada, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.
The amphibious Sea Wind 3000 plane encountered problems shortly after taking off from the DeLand Municipal Airport, less than two miles from the shopping center. Investigators weren't sure where the plane was heading.
The plane is made of composite material and was amateur-built in 2002. It seats four people but only two people from Illinois were aboard, said Schiada, who didn't identify them.
Fire consumed most of the plane, which plunged through the roof and landed between two aisles in the middle of the store. The plane didn't have a black box but investigators may be able to use the plane's GPS system to learn more about what happened, Schiada said.