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Kansas Plane Crash Claims 4th Victim

Flight was taking 5 to Christian youth conference in Iowa.


A Kansas plane crash claimed a fourth victim Saturday, less than 24 hours after three others died flying to a Christian youth conference in Iowa.

The only other person on the plane remains in serious condition in a Kansas City hospital.

The Kansas City Star said doctors are treating Hannah N. Luce, 22, for severe burns.

The group of five was flying from Tulsa, Okla., to a Teen Mania Ministries conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The plane – a twin-engine Cessna 401 – crashed about 4:30 p.m. on Friday near Chanute, Kan.

Officials identified the dead as pilot Luke Sheets, 23, of Ephraim, Wis., Austin Anderson, 27, of Ringwood, Okla.; Garrett Coble, 29, of Tulsa; and Stephen Luth, 22, of Muscatine, Iowa.

They had connections to Oral Roberts University, The Associated Press said.

Luth, Sheets and Anderson had recently graduated from the Tulsa, Okla., school, while Coble taught business.

“They were guys who stuck to their morals, and it showed through their character, and how they treated people,” a friend, Brooke Ninowski, told the AP.

Anderson and Luce survived the impact and managed to find help; however, Anderson died early Saturday morning in hospital.

Ninowski cited news reports that said Anderson pulled Luce from the wreckage.

“That wouldn't surprise me in any way,” she said, according to the AP.

The National Transportation Safety Board said flight controllers had contact with the airplane shortly before it crashed, but there was no distress call, CNN said.

“There was an altitude change and that was the last transmission,” NTSB’s Peter Knudson said.

The airplane managed to land in a field, but skidded about 200 feet before crashing into a tree, spinning and catching fire.

Luce’s father, Ron, founded Teen Mania Ministries and a trustee at ORU.

“They all had a heart for this generation, and were passionately pursuing God’s call on their lives,” he said in a prepared statement.