Archive for Sunday, September 6, 2009

Small plane crashes into Okla. park, 5 dead

September 6, 2009

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— A small aircraft plummeted into an Oklahoma park and burst into flames on Saturday after hitting a guide wire from a communications tower, killing all five people on board, investigators said.

The six-passenger plane was on its way to Dallas when it crashed amid heavy fog near a baseball field in Tulsa, said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown.

“The wings came off. The engine came off,” Brown said. “When it hit, it rolled. It did catch fire. It rolled at least a couple of times, ejecting the occupants.”

Brown said the victims, who all died at the scene, were pilot Dr. Stephen Lester, 48; his wife Dana, 48; daughters Laura, 16, and Christina, 13; and Dr. Ken Veteto, 50. All were from Tulsa. No one on the ground was injured.

Lester’s uncle, Mike Lester, said the couple had two other children who weren’t on board the plane. He said family and friends were distraught.

“It’s really difficult,” Lester, his voice shaking, said during a phone interview.

The Piper PA-32 took off for Dallas Love Field from Jones Riverside Airport in Tulsa at 10:37 a.m. It crashed about 30 minutes later into Chandler Park, a recreation area with athletic fields and picnic facilities.

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