Survivor of Wichita State University football team plane crash has died
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - One of the survivors of the Wichita State University plane crash over 50 years ago has died.
According to the Facebook page Wichita State University Football '70 Plane Crash, Dave Lewis died peacefully on Father's Day. His wife and sister were by his side.
A plane carrying the Wichita State football team crashed while traveling to a game at Utah State on Oct. 2, 1970. Of the 40 on board, 31 died, including 14 players along with coaches, boosters, administrators, trainers and three crew members.
The team, split into two, boarded two Martin 404’s destined for Logan, Utah. Nicknamed after the school colors, a “gold” plane carried the team’s starters and prominent community members and secondary players and other staff flew on the “black” plane. The black plane went on its planned route along the north side of Colorado. The pilot of the gold plane made a last-minute change, taking passengers on a more direct path over the Colorado Rockies for a scenic view.
The planes refueled in Denver before they went on their separate paths. Just west of Denver, the gold plane faced trouble early that afternoon. The plane was too low to gain enough altitude or turn around to safety. It crashed into a mountain near Silver Plume.