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1970 Wichita State Football Crash Memorial: Pictures

By Patrick Mondout

On October 2, 1970, a twin-engine Martin 404 carrying Wichita State football players and fans to a game in Utah struck treetops and crashed into the base of Mount Trelease ten miles west of Georgetown, Colorado resulting in the deaths of 31 of 40 aboard.

Our primary article on this tragedy is here. This page contains a passenger list plus pictures of the area around the crash site and the memorial at the edge of Interstate 70.

I-70 Memorial

The memorial is near the crash site just off westbound I-70 about a mile east of the Eisenhower Tunnel. The memorial is very difficult to spot as their is no signage indicating its presence and you have to be driving slowly past the area or you may miss it.

Picture by Patrick Mondout, September 17, 2005


I-70 Memorial

The top of the memorial reads: "As time goes by, memories fade. But we will never forget..." and the it lists each of the victims of the crash. The bottom reads "The Wichita State football team and supporters who lost their lives on this mountain October 2, 1970."

Picture by Patrick Mondout, September 17, 2005


I-70 Memorial

A message for "Ronnie Gene" (Ronald G. Johnson) is among the items left at the memorial by visitors.

Picture by Patrick Mondout, September 17, 2005



I-70 Memorial

The location of the memorial as seen from space in 1979.

Image courtesy of the USGS


Wreckage on Mt. Trelease

As is often the case with old airplane crash sites, wreckage still litters the area. The crash site itself is a good 400 feet up the mountain. If you have a GPS device, it is located at approximately: 39.69325, -105.8819 (decimal).

Picture by Greg Records, June, 2005 (used with permission)

 

Passengers and Crew

Age Name Notes
28 Judy Lane flight attendant from Oklahoma City (had become a flight attendant after completing training only a month before, died at scene)
39 Judy Dunn flight attendant from Oklahoma City (was a friend of other flight attendant and not officially a member of the crew though she assisted Judy Lane, died at scene)
27 Danny Crocker pilot, Oklahoma City (died at scene)
19 Marvin Brown player (running back, #26), Solomon, Kansas (died at scene)
20 Don Christian player (defensive back, #44), Duncan, Oklahoma (died at scene)
19 John Duren player (end, #84), Oklahoma City (died at scene)
21 Ronald G. Johnson player (safety, #25), Platte City, Missouri (died at scene)
20 Randy Kiesau player (defensive back, #43), Clinton, Oklahoma (died at scene)
21 Malory 'Mal' Kimmel  player (center, #53), St. Genevieve, Missouri (died at scene)
19 Carl Krueger player (tackle, #73), Chicago (died at scene)
21 Steve Moore player (linebacker, #34), Derby, Kansas (died at scene)
20 Thomas B. Owen, Jr. player (running back, #49), Temple Terrace, Florida (died at scene)
21 Eugene 'Gene' Robinson player (end, #42), Dayton, Ohio (died at scene)
20 Tom Shedden player (tackle, #78), Oklahoma City (died at scene)
19 Richard 'Rick' Stines player (guard, #63), Kansas City, Kansas (died at scene)
21 Jack Vetter player (tackle, #70), McPherson, Kansas (died at scene)
45 Ray Coleman Membership Chairman, WSU Shocker Club, West Frankfort, Illinois (died at scene)
43 Maxine Coleman wife of Ray, St. Joseph, Arkansas (died at scene)
50 Dr. Carl Fahrbach Director of Admissions, WSU, Berryton, Kansas (died at scene)
35 Floyd Farmer WSU's Associate Athletic Director, Lincoln, Nebraska (died at scene)
38 Etta Mae Grooms wife of John, Hamilton, Kansas (died at scene)
42 John Grooms banker, Chanute, Kansas (died at scene)
19 Martin 'Marty' Harrison Student Equipment Manager, Argonia, Kansas (died at scene)
52 Bert Katzenmeyer WSU's athletic director, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania (died at scene)
52 Marion Katzenmeyer wife of Bert, Detroit, Michigan (died at scene)
48 Raymond King Republican state legislator, Hesston, Kansas (died at scene)
41 Yvonne King wife of Raymond, McComb, Mississippi (died at scene)
44 Ben Wilson head coach, Cadiz, Ohio (died at scene)
44 Helen Wilson wife of Ben, Detroit, Michigan (died at scene)
21 John Taylor player (cornerback, #24), Sherman, Texas (died 24 days later in hospital)
30 Tom Reeves WSU trainer, Concordia, Kansas (died a few days later in hospital)
35 Ronald G. Skipper first officer on flight, president of the charter airline (survived)
21 Mike Bruce player, Sherman, Texas (survived)
21 John Hoheisel player, Garden Plain, Kansas (survived)
21 Randy Jackson player, Atlanta, Texas, Survived and went on to play three season in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills (where he was a 4th round pick in 1972), San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia Eagles
20 Glenn Kostal player, Chicago (survived)
20 David Lewis player, Duncan, Oklahoma (survived)
21 Keith Morrison player, Hawkins, Texas (survived)
21 Robert Renner player, Garden Plain, Kansas (survived)
22 Rich Stevens player, Andover, Kansas (survived with a dislocated hip, broken leg, crushed sternum and burns)
Age Name Notes

Source: National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report.

Air Safety References:
Bartelski, Jan. Disasters in the Air: Mysterious Air Disasters Explained. Airlife Publishing: England, 2001.
Beaty, David. The Naked Pilot: The Human Factor in Aircraft Accidents. Airlife Publishing: England, 1996.
Cushing, Steven. Fatal Words: Communication Clashes and Aircraft Crashes University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1997.
Faith, Nicholas. Black Box: The Air-Crash Detectives-Why Air Safety Is No Accident. Motorbooks International, 1997.
Gero, David. Aviation Disasters: The World's Major Civil Airliner Crashes Since 1950. Sutton, 2003.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 1). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1995.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 2). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1996.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 3). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1999.
Krause, Shari Stamford. Aircraft Safety: Accident Investigations, Analyses & Applications. McGraw Hill, New York, 1996.
Macpherson, Malcolm. The Black Box : All-New Cockpit Voice Recorder Accounts Of In-flight Accidents. New York: William Morrow, 1998.
Macpherson, Malcolm. On a Wing and a Prayer: Interviews with Airline Disaster Survivors. Perennial, 2002.
Owen, David. Air Accident Investigation, 2nd Edition. Motorbooks International, 2002.
Stewart, Stanley. Emergency! - Crisis on the Flight Deck, 2nd Edition. Airlife Publishing, England, 2003.
Walters, James M. Aircraft Accident Analysis: Final Reports. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000.
Wells, Alexander T. Commercial Aviation Safety, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001.


 

DISASTER DETAILS

Loveland Pass itself is at 11,990 feet. The Martin 404 had no chance of gain nearly 1000 feet so quickly.

Image courtesy of the USGS

Airline: Golden Eagle Aviation

Location: Near Silver Plume, Colorado

Aircraft: Marin 4-0-4

Date: October 2, 1970

Total Fatalities: 31 of 40



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