Skip to main content

Ex-Oklahoma quarterback among 2 killed in Indiana plane crash

By Janet DiGiacomo and Ed Payne
updated 4:56 PM EDT, Mon March 18, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • One of the two who died was former University of Oklahoma quarterback
  • 2 people on board a small plane died when it crashes into several homes
  • Three people are injured
  • The private jet damages three homes

(CNN) -- One of the two people killed when a corporate jet crashed into a row of homes in northern Indiana Sunday was a former University of Oklahoma quarterback who helped the school win two national championships in the 1970s, a school official confirmed Monday.

Steven Davis, the 60-year-old former quarterback, and Wesley Caves, 58, both of Tulsa, Oklahoma, were killed in the crash that also injured three other people in South Bend, said Randy Magdalinski, coroner of St. Joseph County, Indiana.

Davis' former Oklahoma coach, Barry Switzer, said Davis wasn't a highly-regarded recruit, but excelled when he won a starting job.

"He went on to post a 32-1-1 record and help us win two national championships," Switzer said. "Steve was surrounded by great talent on those teams, but he was truly an exceptional leader. I was proud of him. The entire state of Oklahoma was proud of him. We still are."

OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said, "We extend our sympathies to Steve's family and others whose lives he touched. He was a great champion and someone who set a wonderful example for others. We will miss him very much."

The Hawker Beechcraft 390 that Davis and Caves were on slammed into a South Bend neighborhood, damaging three single-story homes.

Davis and Caves died on impact. Two other people aboard were injured, as was one person on the ground, Assistant Fire Chief John Corthier said late Sunday.

The plane was sheared in half -- its nose poking through the front window of a shattered home. It was attempting to circle back to the city's regional airport after a failed landing attempt.

Moments earlier, the plane's pilot had radioed for help, CNN affiliate WNDU-TV reported.

He was experiencing problems with the technical equipment, he said.

The plane was almost on its back and was "spiraling down," resident Theresa Futa told WNDU.

"I've never seen anything like that before in my life ever."

A representative of the National Transportation Safety Board arrived late Sunday to investigate the crash.

The plane left Tulsa, Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon, and was scheduled to land at South Bend Regional Airport about 80 minutes later at 4:20 p.m. ET, WNDU reported.

The troubled aircraft startled Shelby Ramirez, who was driving in the area.

"I happened to see the shadow and I said 'Oh my God. I've never seen a plane that low,'" Ramirez said. "And I would say if it was 3 feet above the top of the car it was something. It could have dropped on us."

3 dead after small plane crashes in Fort Lauderdale

CNN's Jim Spellman, Jackie Castillo, Dana Ford and Jessica Jordan contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:20 PM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS militants brings into focus the risks faced by reporters in conflict zones.
updated 8:24 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
About $35,000 was taken from the bank accounts of four passengers on board Flight 370.
updated 9:53 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Five survivors of acid attacks capture India's attention with a "ground breaking" photo shoot.
updated 1:32 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The execution of a journalist by a British-accented jihadist is a direct challenge to the international community. It's time for the U.S. to move, writes Frida Ghitis.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
updated 11:35 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
You've seen her turn on the catwalk, but her income might make your head spin.
updated 8:36 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
updated 5:04 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join the country's military.
Drinkers guzzled an incredible 10.3 billion liters of this brand in 2013, making it the world's No.1 beer. And you may have never heard of it.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT