updated 10/2/2007 5:19:52 PM ET 2007-10-02T21:19:52

Pilot error contributed to a fatal accident at Chicago's Midway Airport two years ago when a Southwest Airlines jet landed in a snowstorm, skidded through a barrier and hit several cars, killing a boy, federal investigators said Tuesday.

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National Transportation Safety Board member Steven Chealander said the Boeing 737's crew made a bad decision to land that day and probably should have diverted the flight. The findings were the subject of a NTSB hearing Tuesday on the Dec. 8, 2005 accident.

A six-year-old Indiana boy was killed when the plane stuck the car he was riding in during a snowstorm.

The plane, with 98 passengers, slid off the end of a 6,500-foot runway, through the airport fence and into traffic. It hit two cars, killing the boy and injuring 10 other people.

Shortly after the accident, NTSB officials said the reverse thrusters on the jet's engines, which should have slowed the aircraft, appeared not to have activated immediately when the pilots tried to deploy them.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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