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Four Die In Central South Dakota Plane Crash

April 28, 2014, 10:14 AM by Andy Graning
Updated: May 2, 2014, 10:10 AM

Four Die In Central South Dakota Plane Crash
HIGHMORE, SD -

Four people were killed when a small plane from Texas crashed in central South Dakota.

FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory says the Piper 32 was traveling from Hereford, Texas, on its way to Gettysburg.

She says the crash was reported early Monday morning about five miles south of Highmore, which is 50 miles east of Pierre.

KELOLAND's Erich Schaffhauser reports that the wreckage is near the wind farm south of Highmore and a blade on one of the wind towers appears to be broken.  According to the FAA preliminary crash report, the aircraft hit the wind tower before crashing.

Steve Stengel with Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources says the wreckage was found on the site of the South Dakota Wind Energy Center.  That operation has 27 turbines that are about 213 feet tall, plus the length of the blade.

The plane is registered to Donald J. 'DJ' Fischer of Gettysburg.  It disappeared Sunday night. 

His family confirms Fischer died in the crash; he graduated from SDSU, where he also played football from 2001-2005.

Funeral homes confirmed the deaths of Fischer and cattlemen Brent Beitelspacher, of Bowdle, and Logan Rau, of Java.  A Stock Show website lists the fourth victim as Nick Reimann.

Cory says all four people onboard were killed. Their names will be released when their families are notified.

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