Plane-crash vic­tim near Gur­don iden­ti­fied

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - JIM WIL­LIAMSON

TEXARKANA — A for­mer Ok­la­homa Chris­tian Uni­ver­sity base­ball player was one of two peo­ple killed in a Jan. 5 plane crash near Gur­don, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the school.

While the iden­ti­ties of those killed in the crash have not been of­fi­cially re­leased by the Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board, the sports in­for­ma­tion de­part­ment of Ok­la­homa Chris­tian Uni­ver­sity in Ed­mond, Okla., iden­ti­fied one of the crash vic­tims as Jimmy Kent.

The board and Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the crash and are ex­pected to re­lease a pre­lim­i­nary re­port to­day. A fi­nal re­port may re­quire a year or 18 months, ac­cord­ing to NTSB pro­ce­dures.

Kent, 40, orig­i­nally from Tulsa, trans­ferred to Ok­la­homa Chris­tian Uni­ver­sity from Abi­lene Chris­tian be­fore the 1998 sea­son.

In 1999, the in­fielder-des­ig­nated hit­ter was named to the All-Sooner Ath­letic Con­fer­ence first-team af­ter bat­ting .426 with six home runs, 43 RBI and a team-lead­ing 53 runs scored.

The FAA said the air­craft re­ported en­gine trou­ble and be­gan de­scend­ing. The Air Force Res­cue Co­or­di­na­tion Cen­ter lost the signal. The air­craft was trav­el­ing from McKin­ney, Texas, to Franklin, N.C.

As­sis­tance from the Arkansas State Po­lice he­li­copter was re­quested at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 5 to help search the area near Gur­don, state po­lice spokesman Liz Chap­man said.

Ground crews found the wreck­age and lo­cated the two vic­tims, Clark County Sher­iff Ja­son Wat­son said.

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