On Jan. 28, a small plane crashed in a field in the southeast part of Springfield. The plane, which was headed to Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, crashed about 10 minutes after 3:00 p.m. Among the passengers were Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards and former Springfield Mayor Frank Edwards. There was also a dog on board and a currently unidentified third passenger.
The plane took off from Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport in Florida and stopped in Huntsville, Ala. for gas around 12:20 p.m. The cause of the crash is now being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration along with the National Transportation Safety Board. News Channel 20, a local news station, reported they confirmed the identities of Cinda and Frank Edwards through sources who wished to remain anonymous.
At a news conference Tuesday evening, Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell encouraged people to stay away from the crash site, while also informing residents that the pilot communicated concerns with “weather and instruments” before the crash.
Frank Edwards served as the Springfield Fire Chief, the Ward One Alderman and the Mayor of Springfield. He also sought the mayorship in 2019, but lost to incumbent Jim Langfelder. Cinda Edwards had served as the Sangamon County Coroner since 2011, previously working as a nurse and serving as a Lincoln Land Community College trustee. The Edwardses were also the owners of Springfield Auto Body and Towing.
Because of the extent of their local involvement, both Cinda and Frank were very well-known in Springfield and surrounding towns. State Senator Andy Manar released a statement saying, “My heart breaks for the families of those involved in this tragedy. Cinda and Frank Edwards were devoted public servants to the communities of Springfield and Sangamon County. I ask everyone to join me in sending heartfelt condolences to the Edwards family.”