Crash Sole Survivor In Surgery Monday
From Staff Reports
Hannah Luce, daughter of Teen Mania Ministries founder Ron Luce, was headed to surgery Monday after being the sole survivor of a plane crash on Friday afternoon.
Cindy Mallette, communications director at Teen Mania Ministries, confirmed that the other passenger who pulled her to safety, 27-year-old Austin Anderson, was a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq. He recently graduated from Oral Roberts University and was just hired by Teen Mania, Mrs. Mallette said.
Ms. Luce and Anderson walked to a nearby road to get help after the plane crashed. Anderson suffered burns on 90 percent of his body and scorched lungs, Mrs. Mallette said. He succumbed to his injuries in the hospital about 12 hours later.
"It was remarkable that he was able to do that (pull her out of the plane)," Mrs. Mallette said.
Ms. Luce, 22, suffered burns on 30 percent of her body but had no other injuries, Mrs. Mallette said.
"That's a miracle and a tribute to Austin's heroism," Mrs. Mallette said.
Ms. Luce, Anderson and three others were traveling to a Teen Mania event in Council Bluffs, Iowa, when their plane, a twin-engine 401 Cessna, crashed outside Chanute, Kan., which is about 120 miles southwest of Kansas City.
Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the investigation into the crash could take up to 12 months, which is typical of fatal crashes. He said a preliminary investigation at the scene of the accident was completed as of Sunday, but no information on what may have caused the accident was available.
He said about 4:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, air-traffic controllers heard from the pilot, Luke Sheers, 23, of Ephraim Wis., who requested clearance to drop in altitude. After that, he said, air-traffic controllers lost contact with the plane.
The plane's wreckage caught fire after hitting the ground, Knudson said.
Sheers, Anderson, of Ringwood Okla., Garrett Coble, 29, of Tulsa, Okla., and Stephen Luth, 22, of Muscatine, Iowa, died as a result of the crash, officials said.
"The entire Teen Mania family is mourning the loss of four young lives who were full of so much promise and love for God. All were friends of Teen Mania ..." the statement on Teen Mania's website reads. "Please pray that God surrounds the families of Austin, Stephen, Luke and Garrett with His love and peace in this extremely difficult time."
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