A Kansas family of six was killed when their plane crashed on Thursday in the Tiger Creek Preserve of Florida, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The Huffington Post reports that the single-turboprop, fixed wing plane was heading back from the Bahamas to the family’s home in Junction City when it broke apart and went down at around 12:30 p.m.
Word spread quickly through the family’s hometown, where they were known for their extensive charity work and always having a home full of neighborhood kids.
According to The Associated Press, deputies were able to reach the crash site using helicopters, but that they immediately knew there were no survivors. The cause of the crash was not immediately apparent, and authorities found parts of the plane nearly 3 1/2 miles away.
The deceased are Ron Bramlage, 45, a prominent businessman in Junction City, Kansas, and owner of Roadside Ventures, LLC, his wife Rebecca, 43, and their children: Brandon, 15; Boston, 13; Beau, 11; and Roxanne, 8. Ron was piloting the 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47.
The AP reports that Junction City Mayor Pat Landes stated, “It’s just a horrific loss.” Landes added that the couple were huge supporters of many local projects and also provided college scholarships. They were well known both in town and at Kansas State University, where the basketball arena was named for Bramlage’s grandfather.
University President Kirk Schulz and Athletics Director John Currie said in a joint statement that:
“The Bramlage family holds a special place in the history of Kansas State University and K-State Athletics, and Ron and Becky have been loyal supporters and great fans of K-State. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bramlage family during this difficult time.”
The Huffington Post reports that the crash site can only be reached using helicopters and ATVs, and that the investigation, which will be led by the National Transportation Safety Board, is expected to take a long time. The family had made a stop in Fort Pierce, Florida for customs, and took off about half and hour before the crash occurred.