Sept. 26--The victims of a plane crash in Bolingbrook have been identified as a surgeon from Kentucky and his wife who were flying to the Chicago area to attend a medical conference, according to police and co-workers.
Dr. Narayan Venguswamy, 63, was a licensed pilot and was flying a small single-engine plane to Clow Airport when it hit a tree, a light pole and three cars before coming to rest in the parking lot of a Chase Bank branch at 262 S. Weber Rd. around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to Bolingbrook Police Lt. Michael Rompa.
The plane burst into flames as Venguswamy staggered away from the wreckage, according to witnesses. "We kept telling him to roll," said Mike Gorhar, 30. "He kept asking to get his wife out."
Venguswamy's wife Jay died at the scene. Venguswamy was taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital with severe burns, then transferred to Loyola University Medical Center, where he died at 5:45 a.m. today, officials said.
Venguswamy, known to colleagues at Georgetown Community Hospital as Dr. Vengu, had worked at the hospital for 27 years, according to assistant administrator Cindy Wesley. "He was an extraordinary physician, outstanding surgeon, who was passionate about the practice of medicine," she said.
Venguswamy's wife Jay had worked in Venguswamy's office and was a "very passionate, sweet individual" who loved photography, according to Wesley. The couple had two adult children, she said.
The four-seat airplane was registered to GDK International in Georgetown, Ky., according to Federal Aviation Administration records. GDK's website lists it as an importer/exporter.
Gorhar said he was working next door at Andy's Frozen Custard when he heard a loud blast and ran outside, thinking that it was a car accident. "My coworker said there's somebody on fire," Gorhar said.
He saw two people standing over the pilot, trying to use a sweatshirt to smother flames on his body. People from the bank came out with water as others tried to move the pilot away from burning wreckage.
Gorhar said he and others yelled into the burning plane to see if anyone else was inside. "The plane was a mountain of flames" he said.
Rompa said Wednesday that it was "very lucky" the plane didn't strike rush-hour traffic just west on Weber Road.
Bolingbrook Deputy Fire Chief Trinidad Garza said firefighters found several cars also on fire in the parking lot. Crews first focused on the burning cars, then they hit plane with foam. The fire was under control in about 15 minutes, he said.
An National Transportation Safety Board investigator was a scheduled to arrive in Bolingbrook Thursday afternoon, according to a spokesman.
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