INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Former University of Oklahoma quarterback Steve Davis, who led the Sooners to national college football championships in 1974 and 1975, was one of two men killed when a corporate jet crashed in northern Indiana on Sunday, local officials said on Monday.
Investigators on Monday were probing the cause of the crash, in a residential area near South Bend, Indiana’s regional airport. The crash damaged two houses, and the cockpit and fuselage became embedded in a third house, spilling jet fuel.
The crash forced about 250 residents from their homes. People had been permitted to return to all but eight houses by Monday afternoon.
St. Joseph County Coroner Randy Magdalinski identified the two men killed as Davis, 60, and Wesley Caves, 58, both of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Davis and Caves were piloting the jet, and both were certified to operate multi-engine aircraft, Andrew Todd Fox, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, told a news conference. The NTSB has taken control of the investigation.
Caves was the owner of Digicut Systems, a Tulsa company that provides window tint and clear overlay paint protection film for the automotive aftermarket.
Two other passengers on the jet and a woman on the ground were injured and remained hospitalized on Monday. Jim Rogers was in serious condition and Christopher Evans in fair condition, while Diane McKeown was in good condition at South Bend Memorial Hospital, a spokeswoman said.
Former Oklahoma head football coach Barry Switzer mourned Davis’ death in messages released on Twitter and Facebook. After playing football, Davis spent 18 years as a college football broadcaster before going into private business.
“He was a great role model for young people on and off the field,” Switzer said. “He was my first quarterback, had an outstanding career, and he will be missed.”
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said the jet’s pilot had reported electrical problems and made attempts to land at the South Bend airport before the plane stalled and crashed.
The jet’s cockpit voice recorder was recovered on Monday, and was being sent back to Washington, D.C., to be examined, Fox said.
Fox said parts of the house were removed on Monday to allow for separating the fuselage from the house. The focus on Tuesday would be recovery of the Beechcraft 390 Premier 1 jet.
Pieces of the airplane will be moved to a secured hangar at the South Bend airport by the end of the day on Tuesday, Fox said.
The NTSB expects to be at the site for three or four more days, but a final report on the crash will take up to a year to complete, Fox said.
Reporting by David Dawson in Indianapolis and Steve Olafson in Oklahoma City; Editing by David Bailey, Greg McCune, Steve Orlofsky and Jan Paschal