A US businessman, his two teenage daughters and his co-pilot died in a plane crash yesterday afternoon when his plane crashed into a farm field near Chicago.
Ray Harris and his daughters Ramie and Shey, along with his co-pilot, died instantly when the plane shattered into several pieces on impact. The first people to the scene described the crash as "horrific".
The plane, a single-engined Cirrus-SR2, departed from Marion Municipal Airport, Indiana yesterday morning.
The cause of the crash is not yet known, but witnesses said that the four-seat plane's parachute, which is designed to lower the aircraft to safety in the event of engine failure, did not slow the aircraft down.
Instead it became caught around a tree and may have led to the plane breaking up.
One witness described a white stream coming from the plane as it fell and a large cloud of dust after it crashed to the ground.
The family were travelling to Wheaton, Illinois, where Shey, the eldest, attended college.
The plane was flying by 'visual flight rules', which means that the pilot was looking out of the window rather than talking to air traffic control.