CROWN POINT | Two men from St. Augustine, Fla., were identified late Friday as the victims in a plane crash Wednesday morning in Gary.
Vincent Vaccarello, 45, and Patsy Crisafi, 48, died of blunt force trauma, Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey said.
An expert in dental matching positively identified the men Friday using records provided to the coroner's office, Frey said.
The office was contacted by members of the men's families, Frey said.
"They believe their loved ones were on the plane and provided us with dental records," Frey said.
Frey said a forensic odontologist conducted the examination. Frey and Chief Deputy Coroner David Pastrick attended the examination, she said.
"We've worked very diligently on this case," Frey said. "I, myself, as coroner was out at the scene throughout the day Wednesday and returned yesterday morning. It is our desire to bring closure to the families and fully cooperate with the Federal Aviation Association and the National Safety and Transportation Board."
Frey said she and her team of forensic pathologists worked at the scene Wednesday and Thursday gathering evidence to assist in positively identifying the men. Frey said one of the investigators went to the hospital Wednesday because of dehydration and heat exhaustion because of the hazmat suits investigators wore. After the investigator was released, he was back at the scene of the crash Thursday morning.
The men were traveling in a Cirrus SR22, registered to Gandry Air LLC of Florida, and were scheduled to arrive at the Gary/Chicago International Airport at 11:19 a.m. when they crashed in a wooded area near Seventh Avenue and Clark Road. The airport is about two miles northwest of the crash site.
No one else was injured in the crash.