By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Flowers and items left outside the Bramlage family home in Junction City
Plane crash site
Becky Bramlage, four children
Ron and Becky Bramlage
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -
Six members of the Bramlage family died in a plane crash in Florida Thursday.
Ron Bramlage, his wife, Becky, and their four children died in the crash. The plane was flying from the Bahamas to Junction City, KS, when it crashed in the Tiger Creek Swamp.
The couple both graduated from Kansas State University. Ron Bramlage was the grandson of the late Fred Bramlage, a 1935 graduate and a Junction City businessman. Fred Bramlage was the lead contributor to the construction of Bramlage Coliseum, a multi-purpose arena that opened in 1988 and is the home to K-State's basketball teams.
Ron Bramlage owns Roadside Ventures LLC, a outdoor advertising company in Junction City. Becky Bramlage was president of the Geary County Board of Education.
The family had been vacationing in the Bahamas and left Treasure Cay about 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The plane stopped in St. Lucie County for immigration purposes and then took off again just after noon.
The crash happened at 12:36 p.m.
Parts of the single-engine plane were found two miles from the crash site. Authorities said the plane appeared to break up while in air.
The plane went down in rugged swamp country. Would-be rescuers and investigators had to use all-terrain vehicles to get to the scene.
The bodies of the couple and their children Brandon, Beau and Roxanne have been recovered. Investigators believe 13-year-old Boston was sucked out of the plane when a hole opened in the fuselage.
The search for his body has ended for the night. Searchers will resume Friday morning, but poor weather conditions are expected to hamper their efforts. Searchers will be combing hundreds of acres in thick steep forests.
Kenny Lannou, spokesman for K-State, said this was a tragic day and the university's thoughts and prayers are with Bramlage family during a difficult time.
Both Ron and Becky Bramlage were active at various organizations at K-State including serving as foundation trustees and members of the President's Club.
"We are shocked and saddened by the tragic news of the deaths of Ron and Becky Bramlage and their children today," according to a statement issued on behalf of University President Kirk Schulz and Athletic Director John Currie. "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."
Geary County School District is making counselors available at the schools where the four children attended. The district issued a statement.
"Words cannot describe the pain we feel in this moment," the statement said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the family for their loss, a loss that not only impacts us at school district, but the entire county and state of Kansas as well."
Becky Bramlage was remembered as an advocate and champion for public education.
"She was proud that her children attended USD 475 and wanted to ensure that this school district was a pioneer in the areas of technology and in academics," according to the statement. "Becky was also a proponent of training for all board members and wanted people to work collaboratively in order to set new trends and be problem solvers for education."
The couple made "tremendous contributions" the district's foundation. The six "will be severely missed."
People have begun to put flowers and other mementos outside the family's home Thursday night.
KCTV5 has a crew in Junction City. Refresh this page for updates and watch KCTV5 News.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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