Manhattan-bound plane crashes into Oklahoma home; Kansas State employee among dead

COLLINSVILLE, Okla. - An employee at Kansas State University was one of at least two people killed when a Manhattan-bound plane crashed Sunday evening in Oklahoma.

Officials with Kansas State University tell Scripps affiliate KJRH in Tulsa one of the crash victims was Chris Gruber, director of development for the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State.

The second victim has been identified as Ronald Marshall, a retired doctor from Manhattan, Kan. and the plane's registered owner.

Rod Marshall told the Omaha World-Herald that his twin brother, Ronald, was aboard the plane with another passenger when it crashed.

Lynn Lunsford, FAA spokesman, says the single-engine Mooney departed from Tulsa International Airport not long before it went down in the backyard of a vacant house.  The plane was en route to Manhattan, Kan.

"I look up and I see the plane coming down in a dive," said Debra Thompson. "I hear it, and it was going really fast and then it hits the ground and flames shoot up. It was a big explosion."

Air traffic control lost contact with the plane about seven minutes after takeoff and lost its radar signal nine miles north of Tulsa.  It crashed around 6 p.m.

Lunsford said the plane's tail number is N57672, and according to FAA records the aircraft is registered to Ronald and Rhen Marshall, of De Witt, Neb.

On Sunday, Gruber uploaded a picture of the plane to Instagram with the caption "My ride to Tulsa."

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

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