The pilot "heroically navigated" to avoid cars on the roadway before the crash, according to a statement from the Peoria County Coroner's Office.
CNN  — 

Two people died after a small plane crashed into a building in Illinois on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

The pilot of the single-engine Mooney M20 reported an engine issue before the aircraft crashed near Highway 116 in Hanna City, about 170 miles south of Chicago, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. There were two people on board the small plane when it went down.

Witnesses reported hearing a “sputter” from the plane as it was descending, according to a media release from Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood.

The pilot “heroically navigated between vehicles on the roadway” before striking a building while landing on a road, the release states.

A male occupant of the plane was initially conscious, but his condition “rapidly declined” once he was pulled from the plane, the release said. He was pronounced dead on the scene following efforts to resuscitate him.

A female occupant was not conscious or breathing when first assessed, and was pronounced dead following efforts to revive her, the release said.

“It is unknown at this time whether they were restrained in the plane,” the release said.

Autopsies are scheduled for Monday. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.