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Bedford Plane Crash Deemed Suspicious

Last updated on Tuesday, March 6, 2007

(BEDFORD) - Police investigators are saying the plane crash that occurred Monday morning on Sunny Acres Lane near the Virgil I. Grissom Airport in Bedford was possibly a murder-suicide.

First Sergeant Dave Bursten says that the findings of the incident are preliminary. He says that investigators theorize that the pilot, Eric Johnson, planned to crash into the home. This theory is based upon eyewitness accounts of the crash, the direction the aircraft was traveling in relation to the airport, and the fact that the plane crashed into the home of Johnson's former mother-in-law, Vivian Pace.

Police say 47-year-old Eric Johnson took his daughter, 8-year-old Emily Johnson, with him in the plane. The two both perished in the crash. Pace was in her living room at the time of the crash and attempted to call 911 after the accident, but her phone line had been damaged during the incident.

When fire and law officers arrived on the scene, they found the plane crumbled into the side of the one story structure. Fire fighters used foam on the plane to keep fumes from igniting. The bodies of both Johnson and his daughter were removed from the crash shortly after 4:00PM.

Emily did not show up to school on Monday and, 45 minutes after the crash occured, Emily Johnson's mother went to police and reported that Emily was missing. Police were about to issue a state wide Amber Alert when reports of the crash started coming in.

Officials say that Johnson turned the plane 90 degrees before crashing into the side of the home. The Cessna 150 piloted by Johnson was owned by the Indiana Airport Service, a unit of the airport.

Indiana State Police, along with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will try and piece together what happened. Crash investigators say it could take up to a year or more before a complete report is made.

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