OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Officials have now identified the two victims killed in a small plane crash Tuesday afternoon.
The incident was reported just after 4 p.m. near 156th and Parkhill Street, just east of the Johnson County Executive Airport.
The victims have been identified as 48-year-old Jonathan Vannatta of Maumelle, Arkansas, and 43-year-old Darcy Matthews of Belton, Texas, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
The agency’s crash report said Vannatta was piloting a fixed-wing, single-engine plane. He took off from the Johnson County airport and, according to KHP’s crash report, when the plane went into the air, it began to fall straight down.
The plane landed in a field not far away, just east of the runway, and caught fire.
The crash happened on the Overland Park side of the airport, but Olathe Firefighters were first on the scene.
“The closest appropriate units anywhere in Johnson County are automatically dispatched. We work as a team all the time,” Olathe Fire Captain Mike Hall.
As fuel leaked from the wing firefighters used chemicals to put out the fire about 20 minutes later. But there was nothing they could do for the two inside.
KHP arrived to take over the investigation. Crews worked into the night trying to uncover any clues from the wreckage and will continue their investigation on Wednesday.