News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local News


Bloomington restaurant-chain owner believed to be among 2 killed in Shelby County plane crash

plane crash.jpg
Posted at 1:40 PM, Nov 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-27 13:40:53-05

BLOOMINGTON — The owner of a string of popular restaurants including The Tap and Social Cantina is believed to be one of two men killed in a plane crash in Shelby County last week.

"It is with great shock and profound sadness that we share the news of the passing of our esteemed president and founder, Nathan Finney," Finney Hospitality Group in a statement posted on its website and social media accounts.

Finney and flight instructor Warren Bruhl of Illinois are believed to be the two men who were killed when a small plane crashed in a field about a mile north of I-74 in Shelby County at 4:50 p.m. Wednesday.

Flight school Gambit Aviation confirmed Bruhl's death in a Facebook post on Saturday.

"Please bear with us as we mourn the loss of one of our own," Gambit Aviation said on Facebook. "On Wednesday, Warren was involved in a tragic accident in a Cirrus — and our hearts break for him, his family, and his friends."

About eight hours before the plane crash, Bruhl posted photos and a video of himself and Finney in the cockpit of a Cirrus SR22 single-engine airplane.

"It’s moments like this I cherish," Bruhl wrote in the message posted at 8:34 a.m. Wednesday. "Training Nathan Finney yesterday in his new 22T and assisting his development in the next chapters of his flying passions."

Another photo posted on Bruhl's Facebook page shows Finney standing next to a Cirrus SR22 that he had recently purchased.

The tail number on the airplane in that photo matches a Cirrus SR22 that took off from the Monroe County Airport in Bloomington at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday and lost radar contact near Shelbyville at 4:46 p.m., according to the FlightAware website.

Indiana State Police said that crews recovered the remains of two men killed when a small plane crashed in a Shelby County cornfield at about 4:50 p.m. Wednesday.

Shelby County Coroner Bradley M. Rund said Monday his office could not confirm the identities of the plane crash victims "until autopsy and DNA analysis are complete."

Rund said determining the cause and manner of death will take four to six weeks, "pending (the Federal Aviation Administration) investigation, toxicology and autopsy results."

The FAA is leading the investigation into the crash, Indiana State Police said.

A representative of Gambit Aviation and a representative of Finney Hospitality Group declined to comment on Monday.

Finney Hospitality owns restaurants in Bloomington, Indianapolis and other Indiana cities.

"We are not ready to comment," the Finney Hospitality Group representative said in a text message. "For many reasons, we still ask for privacy and hope with the findings of the ongoing investigation we can discuss more soon."

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at or on X/Twitter: @vicryc.