Ceremony marks 51 years since Wichita State football players were killed in crash


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Saturday marked 51 years since a plane crash that killed several members of the Wichita State football team.

On Oct. 2, 1970, the WSU “Gold” plane, a Martin 404 carrying 36 passengers and a crew of four, crashed at approximately 3 p.m. on a mountain near Silver Plume, Colorado, while en route to Logan, Utah, for a game with Utah State University. Twenty-nine people died at the scene, while two others died later after receiving medical attention for their injuries. The WSU “Black” plane landed safely in Utah.

Those who survived the crash gathered to remember the tragedy.

“I don’t think much more than a day or two will go by when I don’t think of someone of them that perished in the crash,” said Rick Stephens, Wichita State University plane crash survivor.

Three construction workers rescued Stephens from the plane before it exploded. A wreath is placed at Wichita State’s Memorial each anniversary.

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