Silver Plume, CO Airplane Crash Kills Wichita State Football Players, Oct 1970

Loveland Pass COL memorial to crash 10-2-1970.jpg Loveland Pass COL memorial to crash 10-2-1970 2.jpg Loveland Pass COL wreckage 10-2-1970.jpg

TERRY LITTLEDIKE, a punter on the Utah State team that would have met Wichita State on the field Saturday, led his team in prayer when word of the crash reached Utah. The game was canceled.
Back in Wichita, Kan., there was shock and sadness. Girlfriends, wives, sisters and mothers gathered with students, and other athletes in a campus fieldhouse to mourn.
"This is a great tragedy in the lives of these boys and their families and a sad, tragic day in the history of the university," Wichita State University president Dr. Clark Ahlberg told the crowd.
A C-54 National Guard plane ordered dispatched by Kansas Gov. Robert B. Docking, took off from Wichita at 6:30 p. m.(MDT). It carried the families of those who survived. Another plane left for Colorado, "to bring the bodies back to Kansas."
All university weekend functions, including a Shockers' Club dinner, were canceled, as were all Republican Party political activities across the state.
"We're just swamped with calls from the public," said a newspaper reporter.
The team, called the Wheat Shockers, had lost all three of its games this season -- to Texas A. & M. 41-14, to Arkansas State 53-14 and to West Texas State 43-0.
It was WILSON'S first head coaching job. Before he departed with his team for the fatal plane flight over the Rocky Mountains, WILSON said:
"We have had fair practices this week. The players worked hard, but you cannot expect them to have the same vigor after losing three games as when you are winning."
It was several hours after the crash before the number of persons involved in the two flights to Utah could be determined.
When the second plane landed about an hour after the crash of its companion plane, Dr. Ahlberg telephoned an assistant coach in Logan to break the news.
Ahlberg told the coach to read him the name of every person on board the plane that landed safely. When Ahlberg received that list, he released the names of the 40 persons aboard the stricken airplane.

Airplane Crash Victims Listed
SILVER PLUME, Colo. (UPI) -- Victims in Friday's Wichita State football team plane crash:
JUDY LANE, 28, stewardess, Oklahoma City, Okla.
JUDY DUNN, 39, stewardess, Oklahoma City, Okla.
MARVIN BROWN, 19, Solomon, Kan., sophomore running back.
DON CHRISTIAN, 20, Duncan, Okla., junior defensive back.
JOHN DUREN, 19, Oklahoma City, sophomore quarterback.
RON JOHNSON, 21, Kansas City, Mo., senior defensive back.
RANDY KIESAU, 20, Clinton, Okla., junior running back.
MAL KIMMEL, 21, Ste. Geneviere, Mo., senior center.
CARL KRUEGER, 19, Chicago, sophomore tackle.
STEVE MOORE, 21, Derby, Kan., senior linebacker.
TOM SHEDDEN, 20, Oklahoma City, junior tackle.
GENE ROBINSON, 21, Dayton, Ohio, junior quarterback.
JACK VETTER, 21, McPherson, Kan., senior lineman.
TOM OWEN, JR., 20, Temple Terrace, Fla., junior running back.
RICK STINES, 19, Kansas City, Kan., guard.
RAY COLEMAN, Wichita, Kan.
CARL FAHRBACH, Wichita, Kan.
FLOYD FARMER, Wichita, Kan., university's ticket manager.
JOHN GROOMS, Wichita, Kan.
MARTY HARRISON, 19, Wichita, Kan.
BERT KATZENMEYER, Wichita, Kan., university's athletic director.
RAY KING, Newton, Kan., Kansas State Legislator.
MRS. YVONNE KING, Newton, Kan.
BEN WILSON, Wichita, Kan., head football coach.
MRS. HELEN WILSON, Wichita, Kan.

DANNY CROCKER, 27, Oklahoma City, pilot.
JOHN TAYLOR, 21, Sherman, Tex.
TOM REEVES, 30, Concordia, Kan.
MIKE BRUCE, 21, Sherman, Tex.
JOHN HOHEISEL, 21, Garden Plain, Kan.
RANDY JACKSON, 21, Atlanta, Tex.
GLENN KOSTAL, 20, Chicago.
DAVID LEWIS, 20, Duncan, Okla.
KEITH MORRISON, 21, Hawkins, Tex.
ROBERT RENNER, 21, Garden Plain, Kan.
RICH STEVENS, 22, Andover, Kan.

The Albuquerque Journal New Mexico 1970-10-03
[Note .. The survivors were taken from other articles]


Teammates Hear of Tragic Crash

'Oh, God, No!'

Teammates Hear Of Tragic Crash

Editors-Note; Sports Editor Dale Mullen of the Wichita, Kan., Beacon was aboard one of the two charter planes carrying the Wichita State University football team to Logan, Utah, for a game with Utah State. Mullen's plane arrived safely and the following is his account of the discovery that the other plane had crashed.

By Dale Mullen
LOGAN, Utah (AP)---The 23 Wichita State football players, six assistant coaches and seven other passengers aboard the second chartered aircraft were notified of the crash near Silver Plume, Colo., of the first plane carrying 38 passengers shortly after landing here Friday.

Just prior to the landing, assistant football coach Bob Seamen was called to the pilot's cabin and was told he had a phone call waiting at the Logan airport from Dr. Clark Ahlberg, president of WSU.

During Seaman's absence for the phone call several players were speculating on the reason for the delay.

"Maybe we're at the wrong airport," one said.

"Utah State probably took off for Wichita," said another.

APPROXIMATELY 10 minutes after leaving the aircraft, Seaman returned and called roll.

"The other plane has gone down." he said.

A stunned silence followed.

Then cries of "God, God, no! It couldn't happen!" were heard.

Most of the players and passengers broke down.

The passengers left the plane and boarded a bus waiting at the airport. After arriving at Bough Hotel, they were given sedatives by a physician.

The two chartered aircraft departed Wichita at 10 a.m. Friday and later landed at Denver.

THERE WAS a delay of approximately 30 minutes while maintenance was performed on the first plane, apparently on the landing gear.

The last that was seen of the first aircraft by those on the second flight was on the Denver taxi strip.

Fred Conti, as assistant coach, called the players on the second flight into a motel room and gave them what information was available.

"I know this has hit you as hard as it has hit us, but let's suck it up a little and pray for the best. We need you now more than ever. So please stay with than ever. So please stay with us. In your own way, say a prayer and hope for the best." Conti told the players.

The players ate a box lunch at the motel and then made plans to attend church.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 3 Oct 1970