A tragic plane crash in South Dakota leaves all four of its passengers dead early Monday morning. The single engine, Piper 32, was said to be headed to Gettysburg, South Dakota from Hereford, Texas. The plane disappeared on Sunday night.
Spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory of the Federal Aviation Administration says that early reports of the crash indicated that the collision happened near a local wind farm about 50 miles east of Pierre. The plane was registered to Gettysburg resident Donald J. Fischer.
Although the names of the victims have yet to be released by authorities, a local funeral home has confirmed the deaths of passengers Logan Rau, Brent Beitelspacher, and Pilot Donald Fischer. The fourth victim’s information has yet to be disclosed, but a Stock Show website recognizes the fourth victim as Nick Reimann.
Further details will not be released until the families of the victims have all been notified. Currently, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. Bad weather conditions is said to have been a big factor in the crash, but Fisher’s failure to maintain control of the aircraft is said to have been the probable cause of the crash according to the Safety Board.
— KELO News (@keloland) April 29, 2014
All three passengers were returning from an annual event for a cattle sale in Texas. Others who attended the event have stated that the passengers discussed how bad the weather was on their arrival flight.
Fischer was known as a very active member in his community, often volunteering as an emergency medical technician. He graduated from South Dakota State University, where he played defensive tackle on the school’s football team.
The plane collided near the South Dakota Wind Energy Center which is equipped with 27 turbines that are a little over 200 feet tall.
Image via YouTube