Photo courtesy of NewsChannel 5 Photojournalist Tom Stasiak.
Breeze-Courier.com; Jacob Griffin
Brandon Sparrow, pilot
Taylorville, IL (KSDK) - A 30 year old pilot from Augusta, Illinois, is dead after a skydiving plane crashed early Saturday afternoon in Taylorville, Illinois.
Twelve people plus the pilot were on board the airplane. The 12 passengers were able to jump from the plane before it crashed.
Family members identify the deceased pilot as Brandon Scott Sparrow, an accomplished pilot and aircraft mechanic who was married and went to school at Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Brandon and Angela Sparrow had no children.
Family members say Sparrow was a longtime aviation enthusiast who was left in a coma six years ago after being struck by a truck while bicycling in Carbondale. Despite lingering injuries from that accident, he was able to climb back into airplane cockpits.
The plane crashed in a residential area of the 800 block of W. Rich Street around 11:30 a.m. Debris from the crash is spread across two or three blocks.
The Federal Aviation Administration is on the scene, and the National Transportation Safety Board is enroute.
Taylorville is located in Christian County, approximately 90 miles northeast of St. Louis.