Wichita State University, its flags hanging at half-staff, was a silent, shocked community after word was received that 29 people, including 13 of WSU’s top football players, had been killed when their plane crashed into a Colorado mountainside. The plane was one of two traveling to a scheduled game at Utah State; the other plane had arrived safely. The game had been called off and the remainder of the season was expected to be canceled. Among those presumed dead were the athletic director, the head football coach, Kansas State Rep. Ray King and Wichita banker John Grooms and their wives, and some of the top players, who had been traveling with the head coach as tradition decreed. Wichita mayor Price Woodard called it the most tragic day in his city’s history, and Gov. Robert Docking, saying it was a great tragedy for Kansas, ordered the state’s flags to be flown at half-staff and the Air National Guard plane made available for survivors and relatives.
40 years ago: Wichita State University mourns loss of 29 in plane crash
October 3, 2010