Update on plane crash: Muscatine man dies on KS to Council Bluffs flight


May 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(updated 5:44-p.m. Saturday) CHANUTE, Kan. (AP) — A small airplane that crashed in southeast Kansas on Friday was carrying five people with connections to Oral Roberts University to a Christian youth rally in Council Bluffs. The Kansas Highway Patrol reported four of the passengers died and one was badly injured. The fatalities are identified as pilot Luke Sheets, of Ephraim, Wis., Austin Anderson, of Ringwood, Okla., Garrett Coble, of Tulsa, Okla., and Stephen Luth, of Muscatine, Iowa.

Hanna Luce, of Garden Valley, Texas, was hospitalized in critical condition. The recent graduate is the daughter of Oral Roberts trustee Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania Ministries, which was sponsoring this weekend’s Acquire the Fire rally in Council Bluffs.

Oral Roberts President Mark Rutland is asking the university community to pray for Luce and remember those who were killed. He says Luth, Sheets and Anderson were recent graduates, and Coble was a former business instructor at the school.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the twin-engine Cessna 401 went down Friday afternoon northwest of Chanute, Kan., and caught fire. The NTSB says the plane lost contact with air traffic control after getting permission to descend to a lower altitude.

The Tulsa World reports a fifth person, also an Oral Roberts graduate, was badly injured when the twin-engine Cessna crashed about 4:30 p.m. Friday northwest of Chanute. The Kansas Highway Patrol identifies the victims as 23-year-old Luke Sheets of Ephraim, Wis., who was flying the plane; 27-year-old Austin Anderson of Ringwood, Okla.; 29-year-old Garrett Coble of Tulsa, Okla.; and 22-year-old Stephen Luth of Muscatine, Iowa. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson says the eight-seat plane departed left Tulsa headed to Council Bluffs, and lost contact with air traffic control shortly after getting permission to descend to a lower altitude.