Branson, MO College Of The Ozarks Plane Crash, Dec 1999


Branson, Mo. (AP) -- A twin-engine Cessna crashed in a heavily wooded area near the resort town of Branson on Thursday, killing all six people aboard.
The school-owned Cessna Citation went down about 5 p.m. after clipping trees in a hilly area about five miles short of its destination, the College of the Ozarks, said Ted Martin, division chief of the Branson fire department. The school runs an airport for small craft.
The dead were identified as:
JERRY WATSON, of Branson, a graphic arts professor and head of the college's print shop, and his wife PAT WATSON.
MARVIN OETTING, who lived on campus, the school's chairman of technical and applied sciences, and his wife JUDY OETTING.
JOE BRINELL, of Indian Point, Mo., the plane's head pilot and director of the school airport.
BART MOORE, a student co-pilot from Batesville, Ark.
"This college is a little different from your run-of-the-mill campus," said Camille Howell, college spokeswoman. "Most students work here, and we all know each other better. It makes for more of a sense of loss."
Ages of the victims were not immediately available.
Their identities were taken from the plane's manifest, which confirmed all six were aboard the plane when it took off from Lambert Field in St. Louis. At least four of the bodies had been recovered late Thursday.
The plane was returning from a same-day trip to St. Louis, where WATSON had received a state award for teaching.
The plane's pilots last communicated with the school's airport tower at 3:08 p.m., said Ed Washington, duty officer with the Federal Aviation Administration's office in Kansas City. The wreckage was found about 6:20 p.m. by a Branson police officer.

Ottawa Herald Kansas 1999-12-10