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Federal report points to fuel troubles on plane that crashed in Hanna City, killing 2

ambulance with lights on
WCBU file photo

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board reveals new information about the Aug. 13 plane crash that killed two people in Hanna City.

Pilot James Evanson and his wife, Lisa, were killed when their single-engine plane crashed attempting an emergency landing on Illinois Route 116. The plane struck power lines before touching down on the roadway. The left wing was clipped off when the aircraft struck a power pole. The aircraft stopped after crashing into a building.

The NTSB report reveals the Mooney M20K plane had two fuel tanks — one on each wing. The left wing tank was breached during the descent and was empty when investigators checked it. The right wing tank was intact, but had very little fuel left inside. The plane was set to use the right fuel tank before the crash.

The report shows fuel was purchased for the plane in Santa Fe, N.M. on Aug. 10. The plane reportedly flew a short four- minute flight after the purchase, and was not refueled afterwards.

James Evanson initially contacted air traffic control at the Peoria International Airport for landing advice, but then reported the plane's engine had lost all power. When asked whether the plane would make it to the airport, Evanson said no. The plane aligned with Route 116, where Evanson attempted to make the emergency landing.

The Evansons were pronounced dead at the scene.

Isabela Nieto is a student reporting intern at WCBU. Isabela is also a student at Bradley University in Peoria.