News and Music Discovery
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Illinois Community Mourns Loss of Gutzler Family in Fatal Plane Crash


National Transportation Safety Board Investigators begin work Sunday following a fatal plane crash Friday in Western Kentucky.

The twin engine plane crash killed Marty and Kimberly Gutzler, their 9-year-old daughter Piper and her 14-year-old cousin Sierra Wilder. Seven-year old Sailor Gutzler survived and walked nearly a mile before reaching a home to report the crash and seek medical attention for her minor injuries.

The family is from the small town of Nashville Illinois. Their pastor Matthew Wietfeldt says the community of 3,200 people outside St. Louis is mourning its loss.

“You could say that they’re one of the pillars of the community,” he said. “This is a devastating loss and something that’s going to rock us to our core but we’re going to rally around young Sailor.”

Nashville Schools Superintendent Mike Brink says the kindergarten through 8th grade system plans to have six grief counselors on hand when students return to class Monday.

A statement from the Gutzler family has asked for prayers and privacy. Sailor has been released from the hospital, and no funeral arrangements have been set for her family.

NTSB officials plan to hold a press conference Sunday. They have two days to conduct an investigation.

Whitney grew up listening to Car Talk to and from her family’s beach vacation each year, but it wasn’t until a friend introduced her to This American Life that radio really grabbed her attention. She is a recent graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where she studied journalism. When she’s not at WKMS, you can find her working on her backyard compost pile and garden, getting lost on her bicycle or crocheting one massive blanket.
Related Content