Friday, June 26, 2009

Three die in Gaston's plane crash UPDATED

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 10:17 AM

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Baxter County sheriff's office

A Missouri man and his son and another Missouri teen were killed and two others were injured when a small plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Gaston's Resort on the White River in Baxter County. They were en route home after a short stay there.

In its coverage, the nearby Baxter Bulletin raised questions about whether the plane was overloaded. Witnesses reported erratic flight on takeoff.

The updated report from the sheriff is on the jump, with identities of those on the plane.

NEWS RELEASE

The Sheriff’s Office is now confirming the death of three (3) persons from the crash of a small civilian aircraft early the morning.  As previously reported, Sheriff’s personnel and other emergency responders were dispatched this morning at approximately 9:04 AM to a 911 call indicating that a small aircraft had crashed near Gaston’s Resort on the White River near Lakeview, Arkansas.  
 
On arrival at the scene, emergency personnel found wreckage from a small plane, identified as a Piper Cherokee Lance, just south of the private grass air strip that serves Gaston’s Resort.  It was determined that this plane had been occupied by five (5) persons.  Two of them, including the pilot, were killed during the crash.  The pilot who died has been identified as Warren William Langford, 52 years old of Chesterfield, Missouri, and his son, Brendan Langford, 15 years old and also of Chesterfield, Missouri was killed in the crash as well.
 
Three others sustained various degrees of injuries.  One of those injured, later identified as Joshua Beckerle, 15 years old of Eureka, Missouri, was flown by Air Evac Air Ambulance to the St. John’s Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri for treatment.   His condition is unknown at this time.   The other two injured persons, identified as Donald Beckerle, 43 years old of Eureka, Missouri and Jacob Ritz, 15 years old of Bridgeton, Missouri were transported by ground ambulance to the Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home.  Donald Beckerle was treated and released from Baxter Regional Medical Center, however Jacob Ritz later died of his injuries while at the local hospital.
 
The aircraft is owned by Propaire, Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri.  Sheriff’s investigators have confirmed that the pilot and passengers flew into Gaston’s Resort from St. Louis on June 23rd, and that they were en route back to St. Louis when the plane crashed trying to take off this morning from Gastons.
 
The cause of the crash is unknown at present.  Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration are now on scene at the crash site, and investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are enroute.
 
Agencies assisting with the incident include the Arkansas State Police, Arkansas State Parks Officers, Lakeview Police Department, Bull Shoals Police Department, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officers, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Grover Township Fire Department, Bull Shoals Fire Department, Baxter County Coroner’s Office, and the Baxter County Office of Emergency Management.
.
                                               
 
     /s/ John F. Montgomery
    Baxter County Sheriff

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