22 years ago today, a mid-air collision between two planes that caused them to crash down in Zion left three dead and prompted the response of nearly 200 first responders.
The incident occurred in the afternoon on February 8, 2000, when a Zlin 242L and a Cessna 172P collided in flight over a residential area of Zion, approximately two miles from the Waukegan Regional Airport.
One plane crashed into the roof of Midwestern Regional Medical Center, which is now Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
The other plane crashed in the 2500 block of Elim Avenue where it struck a tree and sidewalk before coming to rest in the street.
Both airplanes were destroyed upon impact.
Bob Collins, 57, was piloting the Zlin with passenger Herman Luscher, 58. Both men were killed.
Sharon Hock, 31, who was a student pilot, was operating the Cessna and was also killed in the incident.
The emergency response included 194 fire and EMS personnel and many additional agencies, fire officials said.
The entire hospital where the plane crashed into had to be evacuated and the incident stretched far into the night.
The hospital received severe fire damage near and around the hole made at impact, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
A subsequent fire and explosion caused severe damage to fifth-floor offices and a conference room, the NTSB said.
An investigation determined that an air traffic controller, who had gone an extended period without a break, failed to safely separate the two airplanes and was unaware of their positions.
The Zion Fire-Rescue District said that they believe this was one of the largest emergency responses in Zion history.