At about 2150 Central time, the airplane collided with terrain following an in-flight breakup. The instrument-rated private pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan had been filed.
Review of ATC recordings revealed the pilot was diverting around an area of thunderstorms at the time of the accident. The pilot last reported that he was in “bad” weather and was going to try to get out of it. Following that transmission, radio and radar contact was lost. The airplane came to rest in a pasture, covering an area approximately ½-mile long by 200 feet wide. There was no post-crash fire.