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No survivors after Wisconsin-bound plane crashes near Rossville

Indiana State Police say a small plane crashed in southern Carroll County on Thursday night.

Posted: Feb. 22, 2018 10:27 PM
Updated: Feb. 23, 2018 2:04 PM

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Indiana State Police say there are no survivors after a small, Wisconsin-bound plane crashed in central Indiana. 

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According to Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby, around 8 p.m. Thursday a Cessna plane crashed about three miles north of Rossville. The scene is located near the intersection of county roads 600 South and 500 West.

 State Police Seargent Tony Slocum tells us neighbors weren't sure what they were hearing when the plane crashed.

"We do have some believe they heard something like a race car sound which we believe is related," said Slocum. "There were other witnesses, but we're still trying to verify their statements at this time."

The Cessna 441 Conquest Turboprop had taken off from the Eagle Creek Airpark in Indianapolis and was headed to Green Bay, Wisconsin, according to state police.

Green Bay CBS affiliate WFRV reported a prominent Wisconsin dairy farmer among the dead. 

 "Kewaunee County and much of Northeast Wisconsin is in shock after learning local businessman John Pagel passed away in a plane crash overnight in Indiana.

The Pagel Family has released the following statement:

"Many of you heard our family and extended family is grieving the loss of owner, father, person and friend, John T. Pagel, as well as John’s son-in-law, Steven Witcpalek, and pilot Nathan Saari. We appreciate the outpouring of the communities thoughts and prayers and request your respect for the privacy of the family as we wait for additional information. As we know more details we will keep you informed."

The crash is in a rural area and communications were being hampered by the remoteness. Investigators used a drone from the Wayne Township Fire Department to help survey the crash debris. The recent heavy rains made the crash site extremely muddy and hard for investigators to navigate.

"Getting out to that crash scene is a very difficult task at this time," said Slocum. "Then you add on the fact that it is dark. So, you try to do the best you can, but we're working as a time, we're working the best we can through this particular problem."

State police said they expect the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to show up late Friday morning.

According to ISP, the FAA put a three-mile radius no-fly zone on the area of the plane crash. This restriction includes drones and small planes from flying over the scene less than 5,000 feet. This is effective until Saturday, Feb. 24. at 3:20 a.m.

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