A 54-year-old man has died after he was rushed to the hospital with traumatic injuries after his ultralight aircraft crashed into a field near Huntley on Saturday.
The Huntley Police Department and Huntley Fire Protection District responded around 6:54 p.m. Saturday to the area of Powers Road and Samantha Lane in Huntley for a report of an aircraft down.
Huntley Deputy Police Chief Michael Klunk said officers found a 54-year-old man injured in an open field behind the Culver’s restaurant, 12950 South Route 47.
The man was piloting an ultralight aircraft, which crashed into the field following a “rapid descent,” Klunk said.
The man was treated by Huntley Fire Protection District personnel and then transported to Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital.
Klunk said he did not know the condition of the victim as of Saturday evening. According to fire radio traffic, paramedics were working CPR on the victim, who was in traumatic arrest.
On Monday, Klunk said in an update that the victim, identified as James W. McCulla Jr., of Huntley, had died. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday to determine the cause of death.
Witnesses in the area told police that the aircraft took off from the immediate area and the operator quickly banked.
“Shortly after the bank, the ultralight went into a slow spin. The ultralight then struck the ground,” Klunk said.
The aircraft was described as a carbon paramotor ultralight, which is essentially a parachute with a fan motor attached to the operator, Klunk said.
A nearby resident told Lake and McHenry County Scanner he was sitting in his backyard watching the aircraft fly around, which he says occurs frequently in the area.
The resident’s daughter said she saw the aircraft start to spin around and smoke emitted from it before it crashed into the ground.