Wife of pilot killed in crash thanks rescuers - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Wife of pilot killed in crash thanks rescuers

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Bill Gilliland (Family photo) Bill Gilliland (Family photo)
GREENWOOD, Ind. -

The widow of a pilot killed in a plane crash in Greenwood is thanking the people who tried to save her husband.

Bill Gilliland died last Friday when his single-engine plane crashed into two homes and caught fire shortly after takeoff from the Greenwood airport. Neighbors rushed to the scene and were able to pull co-pilot Michael Elliot from the wreckage, but the plane caught fire and flames prevented the rescuers from saving Gilliland.

"They are the ones who so fearlessly dropped everything and rushed into the face of danger to try to rescue two men. Our family and our community are blessed by your bravery," Angie Gilliland wrote in her statement.

In addition to his wife, Gilliland is survived by the couple's two daughters. His funeral is at noon Wednesday at Saints Francis & Clare Catholic Church in Greenwood.

Elliot remains in critical condition at IU Health Methodist Hospital.

Full statement

"The many acts of heroism that surround the rescue of his co-pilot and attempted rescue of Bill were all sacrificial in nature and mere words cannot express the gratitude our family feels for your actions.

"Those special people know who they are. They are the ones who so fearlessly dropped everything and rushed into the face of danger to try to rescue two men. Our family and our community are blessed by your bravery. Thank you for your heroic deeds and the high value you placed on not one, but two human lives. Our prayers remain with the Elliot family.

"Bill brought joy to his family and others as he lived life as a man committed to Christ."

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