Thu, Aug 06, 2009
He Crashed His Ultralight Into The Kankakee River
An ultralight pilot from Chenbanse, IL, hit a powerline and
crashed the aircraft in the Kankakee River Sunday night. It was
determined he had a blood alcohol level over .04, the federal limit
for operating an aircraft.
Witnesses told the Kankakee Daily Journal that the pilot,
45-year-old Jeffery J. Piontkowski, was flying low over the river
and struck the lowest of a group of wires in his path. The
aircraft, a Challenger LSS, impacted the water upside down
near a marina. One of the witnesses, Sheriff's Office Detective
Todd Huntly, called 911 and then went with another rescuer in a
boat to the crash site. They pulled the plane to shallow water, and
cut Piontkowski out of his safety harness with a utility
knife. Huntley said Piontkowski was coughing up blood and
sand. He broke both legs and possibly collapsed a lung in the
No alcohol was found in the plane, but Huntley said he noticed a
strong odor of alcohol coming from Piontkowski.
Kankakee County District Attorney Jamie Boyd said he plans to
bring the case before a grand jury in the next two weeks, and that
he expects charges will be filed.
The incident will be investigated by the FAA and NTSB.
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