Four die in plane crash in Kansas; plane left from Tulsa

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Garrett Coble (
Garrett Coble (
Updated: 5/14/2012 9:42 am Published: 5/11/2012 10:20 pm

A twin engine plane that took off from Jones Riverside Airport has crashed in rural Kansas, killing four men. 

The 8-seat Cessna 401, which bears the emblem of an eagle and an American flag on the tail, was en route to an airport in
Council Bluffs, Iowa. The plane went down in a rural area northeast of High Prairie Church, Kansas, around 5:30  p.m. Friday.

A total of five passengers were on board.  Three men, including the pilot, were pronounced dead at the scene, and a man and a woman were taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to officials.  

The NTSB said the plane lost contact with air traffic control shortly after getting permission to descend to a lower altitude.  Investigators were unaware of any distress call.

A report from the Kansas Highway Patrol identified the victims as pilot Luke Sheets, 23, of Ephraim, Wisconsin; Garrett Coble, 29, of Tulsa; and Stephen Luth, 22, of Muscatine, Iowa.  Austin Anderson, 27, of Ringwood, Oklahoma; and Hannah Luce, 22, of Golden Valley, Texas were hospitalized. Anderson later died at a Wichita hospital while Luce is in critical condition.   The crash report states the aircraft landed in a field, skidded 200 feet and impacted a tree line, then spun 180 degrees and caught fire.

Firefighters worked for several hours getting control of the fiery wreckage.  The NTSB will investigate what caused the crash.

The group was heading to
Council Bluffs, Iowa for the Acquire The Fire event. Teen Mania Ministries was affiliated with the event and had recently hired Anderson and Luth to their marketing staff. Coble had been affiliated with the group and served on 15 missions trips.

Teen Mania was founded by Ron Luce, father of Hannah Luce. In a press release, Luce described all those on board the plane as being committed Christians who had a passion to reach the younger generation.

He said, “We are so saddened by what has happened and ask for all those who have been touched by this ministry in some way to rally around the families of all involved in the crash, especially the four young men who passed away. Please lift them up in prayer, and ask for the Holy Spirit to surround them with God’s love and peace,”

Luce said. “They all had a heart for this generation, and were passionately pursuing God’s call on their lives.”

Garrett Coble's Facebook page says he attended Oklahoma State and studied marketing and was an assistant professor of marketing at NSU-BA, and was recently engaged.  Stephen Luth's Facebook page says he attended Oral Roberts University. Austin Anderson was a recent ORU graduate.

Late Friday,
FOX23 spoke with a Bill Austin, a plane dealer in Tennessee, who says he sold the plane a few of weeks ago.  He declined to name the buyer but he believed the buyer was from the Muskogee area.  He said he knew of no prior problems  with the plane. 

Austin said the previous owner of the plane was a huge fan of country music star Aaron Tippin, and had the plane outfitted with the eagle and flag emblem.  The new buyer was also a Tippin fan.  Austin, who is a personal friend of the Tippins, said Aaron Tippin actually flew the plane to Tulsa, to Jones Riverside Airport, a few weeks ago, and met the pilot, Luke Sheets, and some of the other young men.

Of pilot Luke Sheets, Austin said, "He was just a wonderful young man, God-fearing man, it's a terrible loss."

Please click the slideshow for more photographs.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

carlos - 5/15/2012 8:37 PM
0 Votes
...what a tragedy! my condolences. that field was a skidplate. the under-carriage would have collapsed, but better land with it down to slow the plane, spin it away from the tree line. risky, but added stopping power needed. you don't get to rehearse these things. forgive me for 2d guessing but it will supply knowledge in repeat circumstance. the killer was the tip tanks, like a lit baton when plane spun, wouldn't have them on any plane. suggestion: a fuel dumping mechanism, lever from pilot dash as standard equipment, no matter what it costs.

amanda74403 - 5/12/2012 8:55 PM
0 Votes
Garrett was my Marketing teacher last semester at NSU. He had the most heartfelt stories about Peru and the children there. He was so close to God and I know that he is shining down upon us right now!! What a wonderful man.

joaormex - 5/12/2012 7:59 PM
0 Votes
Austin Anderson had a great heart! He took the time to help us last year at the Christian School Competition on the ORU Campus! The international schools were so blessed to have has Austin's wonderful assistance!! He will always be remembered for his kind spirit and willingness to help others for God's glory! He is now seeing the invisible surrounded by Jesus' loving arms!! His friends from Mexico and other countries of Latin America will never forget him!!

Heather - 5/12/2012 4:34 PM
0 Votes
I had the GREAT priveledge of leasing Stephen and Luke their apartment home back in August of 2011. I've got to know both of them in the past 9 months of them living at the property I work for. Both of them are completely different to the eye, but both shared the same sweet spirit and heart. I received the news today, when some of Stephen's family memebers came to the office trying to sort everything out. To think... I JUST seen BOTH of them just a few days ago!! =*( Stephen JUST came by the office to bring me and my manager a "Red Bull" surprise, and to chit chat.. lol.. I'm so completely broken and devastated by this news.. I first hand got to see God's peace at work on Stephen's family memebers when they came in today... Please continue praying, God is hearing our prayers and answering them as we speak.

aaron2012 - 5/12/2012 11:41 AM
0 Votes
Austin Anderson was one of the greatest gentlemen I have ever known. He took the time to make friends with everyone. He had the biggest heart I know. I am honored and privileged to have had such an amazing friend. I love you brother and your family is in my prayers!

Photoss - 5/12/2012 11:11 AM
0 Votes
I had the privilege of getting to know both Stephen and Luke while I was at ORU in 2008-2009. The three of us were on the same dorm floor, and they both definitely lived their lives to the fullest according to 1 Timothy 4:12, being an example to other believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Four of these individuals just graduated last Saturday (May 5th); it is hard to find words...

debbntulsa - 5/12/2012 9:54 AM
0 Votes
Stephen Luth was actually from here, Worked here & went to school here. He was a co-worker. He was a very bright young man & had a lot going on for him. He had just resigned from my company & accepted a position in Texas to be a youth pastor, his dream. R.I.P. Stephen....
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