A man whose plane crashed last week in Stark County while he was spraying a farm field died of his injuries Tuesday night at a Peoria hospital.
Reach Journal Star reporter Amber Krosel can be reached at 686-3041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A pilot who crashed last week while spraying a cornfield died of his injuries Tuesday night.
Sheldon S. Gaffney, 36, was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m. at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll said Gaffney was a resident of Prophetstown in Whiteside County, although police had said after the crash he lived in Antigo, Wis.
An autopsy Wednesday revealed Gaffney died of "multiple blunt force injuries sustained in the crash."
Gaffney’s plane crashed at about 7:30 p.m. July 12, when it hit power lines while flying low over a cornfield he was spraying with fungicide just west of Wyoming on Illinois Route 17. He was taken to St. Francis, where he remained in critical condition until his death.
Gaffney was flying a plane owned by Frank’s Flying Service in Morrison, and he was working for Gold Star Farm Service in Cambridge. His plane crashed in the south end of Darwin and Ada Terwilliger’s residence. They were not home at the time.
Witnesses nearby reported seeing Gaffney flying over the field he was spraying, owned by Greg Fargher of rural Galva. He continued to fly low until they didn’t see him come back into view.
They then noticed flames in the area after Gaffney crashed into wires owned by Commonwealth Edison of Chicago. The entire area was saturated in plane fuel and Quadris, a fungicide used to spray crops.
The crash remains under investigation by the Stark County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Aviation Administration.