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2 killed in plane crash in Cummings, Kansas identified by authorities

17 Juillet 2017

The Atchison County Sheriff's Office said Bethany Root, General Manager of the Amelia Earhart Airport, was the passenger of a World War II fighter plane when it crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday morning.

The plane was part of events that happened Saturday in Atchison as part of The Amelia Earhart Festival, according to Highway Patrol.

It happened about 10:30 a.m. near Cummings.

The cause of the crash is unknown.

The victims have been identified as 64-year-old Vlado Lenoch of Buff Ridge, IL and 34-year-old Bethany Root, 34, of Atchison, Kansas.

The annual festival, held in Atchison, celebrates the famed pilot Earhart, who was born in Atchison, and is the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

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"It was a high-speed impact crash", said a law enforcement officer at the scene. The plane left the Amelia Earhart Airport in Atchison around 10 a.m. The plane involved in the crash, a 1944 P-51D Mustang, is believed to be the same plane flown for Saturday night's show over the river, according to Laurie. "I can't speculate. It appears the plane was flying northwest when it crashed".

Lenoch's love of aviation began in 1970 when, at age 17, he learned to fly at Chicago's Midway Airport, according to a bio on the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation.

The Federal Aviation Administration is en route to investigate the crash. She worked for the airport's management company, McElwain Sprayers of Wathena, Kan.

"It's a disgusting, terrible loss", Pregont said.

No residents in the area of the crash were injured, Laurie said.

2 killed in plane crash in Cummings, Kansas identified by authorities