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Wheaton College Student is One of 4 Dead in Plane Crash Near Crystal Lake

Four victims identified in small plane crash Saturday near Crystal Lake, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The four victims in a small plane crash Saturday near Crystal Lake have been identified as Ray Harris, 46, his daughters, Ramie and Shey, all of Marion, IN, and a friend of one of the daughters, Chris Backus, 22, of Eau Claire, WI, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.

Ramie Harris, 21, was a junior psychology major at , said LaTonya Taylor, director of media relations for the college.  

Wheaton College wrote in a statement Sunday, "The Wheaton College community is deeply saddened by the death of junior psychology major Ramie Lynn Harris. Ramie, 21, was killed in a small plane crash that occurred on the morning of Saturday, November 26, along with her father, younger sister, and one other person. Ramie was known as a responsible, hard-working, and dedicated young woman, and the College is grieved by her loss."

Officials continue to investigate the crash that killed four people around 10:30 a.m. Saturday near the intersection of Route 14 and North Ridgefield Road outside Crystal Lake.

National Transportation Safety Board Air Safety Investigator Tim Sorensen the moderate rain that fell Saturday evening might prolong the recovery efforts until Sunday.

The NTSB is still trying to determine what caused the crash. No distress call was made prior to the accident, but investigators think the pilot was speaking with the Chicago Approach Air Traffic Control.

"As far as whether the aircraft was in trouble, I have no indication at this point that it was," Sorensen said. "Obviously something did go terribly wrong, but exactly what that is, I don't know at this time."

An emergency parachute was deployed shortly before impact, but no one on board survived. Some models of the Cirrus-SR20 aircraft are equipped with flight data recorders, however Sorensen was unsure if this plane had one in use.

According to FAA records, the plane was registered to the Marion Pilots Club, Inc. of Marion, Ind. It is not immediately known where the plane was traveling.

Investigators will have a preliminary report on the crash in about one week. The final report will take about nine months to finish.

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