DeMauro, Tomlitz, six others, were en route to Canada to go fishing

By Dee Longfellow

For The Bensenville Independent

On the morning of Monday, July 3, the Independent learned that there had been an airplane crash in the early morning hours of Saturday, July 1, which claimed the lives of two employees of Bensenville School District 2. A teacher and maintenance director died when the small plane they were flying went down in northern Wisconsin. The aircraft had taken off from the Waukegan airport and was bound for Winnipeg, Manitoba, when the accident occurred.

According to reports, the plane was a twin-engine Cessna 421C that lost altitude and crashed about 3:20 a.m. on Saturday. Officials at the Price County Sheriff’s Office in Catawba, Wisc., said parts and debris from the incident could be found at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 8 and State Hwy. 111. They also said there were six persons in the plane when it crashed and there were no survivors. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board have already launched an investigation into the crash.

Early Monday morning, school officials Carlos Azcoitia and Jeff Kersten, who are co-principals at Tioga School, issued a statement about the deaths and identified the two victims.

“We are very sad to inform you that Thomas DeMauro, Tioga PE teacher, and Charles (Chuck) Tomlitz, GCA Maintenance Director for BSD2, were killed in a plane crash en route to a fishing trip. The plane crashed early Saturday morning after rapidly losing altitude, police said. Mr. DeMauro and Mr. Tomlitz will be missed by the Tioga community.”

One District 2 official said DeMauro had been with the district for about 30 years and was “loved and respected” by his students as well as members of the Bensenville community. Tomlitz was known as someone who “would do anything for anyone,” according to staff at Tioga School.

“Everyone is just devastated,” said Roberta Murphy, co-president of the Bensenville Education Association. “We’ve never had something like this happen as long as I can remember.”

To support the two families dealing with their loss, a GoFundMe online fundraiser has been established. To contribute, visit As of Sunday evening, July 2, the site had taken in almost $8,000.


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