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ISU memorial

Dozens of flower arrangements and other items were part of a memorial created last week in the lobby of Redbird Arena for victims of the plane crash that killed Illinois State University Associate Head Coach Torrey Ward and Deputy Director of Athletics Aaron Leetch and five other local men.


SPRINGFIELD — Members of the Illinois House of Representatives held a moment of silence Tuesday in honor of the seven men who died in an early morning plane crash a week ago just east of Bloomington.

State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, led the 118-member chamber in the observance of the crash that occurred as the men were returning from watching the NCAA men's basketball national championship game April 7 in Indianapolis.

"These gentlemen are all legends for their service and support to Illinois State University," Brady said.

Killed in the crash east of Central Illinois Regional Airport were: Illinois State University associate head basketball coach Torrey Ward; Aaron Leetch, the deputy director for external relations in ISU's athletic department; pilot Thomas Hileman; Terry Stralow, co-owner of Pub II in Normal; Scott Bittner, owner of Eureka Locker Co.; Andy Butler, national account manager for Sprint/Nextel; and Jason Jones, senior vice president/investment officer for Secord-Jones Wealth Management Group.

"Their passion for Illinois State University and its athletic programs will be the beacon that helps to heal so many who are grieving," said Brady.

A preliminary cause of the accident is expected to be released this week.

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House observes moment of silence for plane crash victims


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