Illinois State athletic staffers among 7 dead in plane crash

College

Deputy Director of Athletics Aaron Leetch and Associate Head Coach Torrey Ward

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) – Illinois State University says its associate head basketball coach and a deputy athletic director are among seven people who died in a plane crash in central Illinois.

University President Larry Dietz confirmed Tuesday that assistant coach Torrey Ward and Aaron Leetch, the athletic department’s deputy director for external relations, were killed in the early-morning crash.

Dietz made the announcement in an email to students, faculty and staff, saying “words cannot fully express the grief that is felt.”

Ward and Leetch were on a small plane that crashed near Bloomington, Illinois, on the way back from the NCAA basketball tournament in Indianapolis.

The Cessna 414 crashed just short of the Central Illinois Regional Airport shortly after midnight.

By DAVID MERCER

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