November 4, 2004

Three Indiana Men Killed In Plane Crash Near Downing

A special pheasant hunt in South Dakota ended tragically for three Indiana men when their plane went down on a hillside in rural Schuyler County at 8:45 p.m. October 29th.

The single engine plane crashed roughly seven miles south of Downing. The accident occurred during the middle of high winds and thunderstorms that were pelting the region. A witness reportedly saw the plane spiral out of the sky and crash into the hilly ground several hundred yards off the blacktop roadway.

The Downing Fire Department, the Schuyler County Sheriffs Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to the scene at the Doug Poe farm, which is located near the intersection of Routes A and D in the northeast Missouri community. Law enforcement officials from Scotland County also assisted in the investigation, as the crash occurred just a few miles west of the county line.

Ambulance personnel from both counties were on the scene, but there were no survivors.

Killed in the crash were the pilot, Bill Shearer, an attorney from Anderson, IN, Dr. Ronald Kracke, a Pendleton, IN, physician, and Armand McClintock, head of the Indianapolis office of the Drug Enforcement Agency. All three men were 54 years old.

According to the Anderson, IN newspaper, the Herald Bulletin, the plane was owned by John Paugh, who was not able to make the trip.

The Great Lakes Region Headquarters of the Federal Aviation Administration indicated the plane, a four-seat Beechcraft A36 had departed from Winner, SD, earlier in the evening with a destination of Anderson, IN.

The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the FBI with the assistance of representatives of Beechcraft Aircraft as well as the Schuyler County Sheriffs Department.

According to the Schuyler County Sheriffs Department, the bodies were removed from the scene Sunday and transported to the Boone County Medical Examiners Office.

The crash marked the second time in less than two weeks that the region has witnessed an aviation accident. On October 19th a Corporate Airlines jet crashed near the Kirksville Regional Airport killing 13 of the 15 people on board. The second crash site is approximately 15 miles northeast of Kirksville.

Ron Wilkins and Melanie D. Hayes, reporters for the Herald Bulletin newspaper, assisted The Memphis Democrat in reporting this story.

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