Stevens Among Crash Victims

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 9:47am

Former Senator Ted Stevens among several killed in small plane crash.

People in Alaska and across the nation are mourning the loss of 86 year-old former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, the longest serving republican in history.

In his home state he was a beloved political figure during his 40 years in the senate.

"Though small of stature, larger than life, anybody who knew him, knew him that way, built Alaska, fought for Alaskans," said Alaskan governor Sean Parnell.

Stevens and four others were killed traveling to and from fishing lodges when their small plane crashed in a remote area near Dillingham, Alaska.

Four survived the crash, including former NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe and his teenage son Kevin.

Both suffered severe injuries.

Others onboard included friends and their children.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

"We’re looking to see if there were pilot reports, distress signals, whether there were any signals from an emergency locator," said Debbie Hersman, NTSB chairman.

Stevens was O’Keefe's longtime mentor on Capitol Hill, where the senator was chairman of the powerful appropriations committee.

His career in the senate came to an end when he lost a re-election bid after being convicted on corruption charges.

In a twist of fate, Stevens survived a plane crash in 1978 that killed five people including his first wife.

And now more than 30 years later, another crash would take his life, along with the lives of four others.

The plane, a Dehavilland DHC-3 turbo prop otter, was registered to general communications incorporated, an Alaska cable phone and internet company.

Stevens was a decorated World War II veteran and was himself was a pilot.

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