Eveleth, MN Senator's Plane Crashes, Oct 2002
DEMOCRATS ALLOWED TO NAME PERSON TO RUN FOR MINNESOTA SEAT.
Eveleth, Minn. (AP) -- Sen. PAUL WELLSTONE, the passionately liberal Democrat whose re-election campaign was vital to control of the Senate, was killed in a plane crash in northern Minnesota Friday along with his wife, daughter and five others.
The crash came 11 days before the election. Stunned party officials said it was too early to discuss replacing WELLSTONE on the ballot. They have seven days to name a replacement.
The twin-engine private plane went down about 10 a.m. in freezing rain and light snow near the Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport, about 175 miles north of Minneapolis. A pilot in the area said the plane seemed to have veered away from the standard approach to the airport.
"It's just terrible. Say a prayer," said Lisa Pattni, an aide at the crash site.
The wreckage was still smoldering severeal hours after the crash in a wooded, swampy area two miles from the airport and several hundred yards from the closest paved road The National Transportation Safety Board sent a nine-member team to determine the cause of the accident.
WELLSTONE'S death saddened supporters and opponents alike, and it came almost exactly two years after Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan was killed in a plane crash as he campaigned for the Senate.
WELLSTONE, a 58-year-old former college professor and one of the foremost liberals on Capitol Hill, was on his way to a funeral.
All eight people aboard the 11-seat King Air A-100 were killed, said Greg Martin, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.