Skip to main content

Ex-Oklahoma quarterback among 2 killed in Indiana plane crash

By Janet DiGiacomo and Ed Payne
March 18, 2013 -- Updated 2056 GMT (0456 HKT)
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
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT