April 26, 2007

Minnesota Woman Killed In Plane Crash Near Knox City

A Minnesota woman was killed on Monday, April 23rd in a plane crash in Knox County. The planeís pilot and a second passenger suffered serious injuries in the accident.

At approximately 3:35 p.m., a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper observed smoke coming from a field approximately one mile northwest of Knox City.

Upon further examination, the trooper discovered a small single-engine homemade aircraft had crashed in a field owned by Ronald Baker, and was fully engulfed in flames.

Two of the three aircraft passengers were found walking a short distance from the crash scene and were suffering from serious burns. They were identified as Gene Underland, of Spicer, MN, who was the pilot of the aircraft, and Richard Woltjer, of Pennock, MN.

The two men were transported from the scene by an Air-Evac helicopter and were initially taken to Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL. Later both men were transferred to the St. Johnís Hospital Burn Center in Springfield, IL.

The third occupant of the aircraft was identified as Kimberly A. Woltjer, the wife of Richard Woltjer. Kimberly Woltjer was pronounced dead at the scene by Knox County Coroner Jeff Doss.

A preliminary investigation revealed the aircraft was en route to Spicer, MN from the state of Florida. The exact cause of the crash is undetermined, and a full investigation will be conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, who are scheduled to examine the scene on April 24, 2007.

The Patrol was assisted by the Knox County Sheriffís Department, Edina Police Department, Knox City Fire Department, Edina Fire Department, Edina Rescue Squad, and the Knox County Ambulance Service.

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