Chuck Vetter of McPherson says he can still remember Oct. 2, 1970, like it was yesterday.
Vetter was at football practice when coaches told him he needed to go home. That’s when he found out his brother Jack was missing.
It will be 45 years ago today that a plane carrying Jack and other members of the WSU football team, along with coaches and boosters, crashed into the side of Mt. Trelease near Silver Plume, Colo.
Today, Chuck is in Colorado, where he will make the short climb above I-70 at the Eisenhower Tunnel to pay tribute his brother and the rest of those who perished that day. The crash site still bears the wreckage of the plane to this day. While many who visit the crash site leave mementos and small tributes to those lost, Vetter says he won’t be taking anything special up the mountain with him, saying he just wants to spend some time up there. This will be the third time Vetter has been to the site.
The crash killed 31 people including 14 players, WSU AD Bert Katzenmeyer, Head Coach Ben Wilson, Dean of Admissions Carl Fahrbach and State Representative Raymond King of Hesston. As always, a service will be held today at the 1970 Memorial along Oliver Street on the WSU campus.
• THE CRASH VICTIMS •
• Players •
Marvin Brown, 19, Solomon, sophomore tailback
Don Christian, 20, Duncan, Okla., junior defensive back
John Duren, 19, Oklahoma City, sophomore end
Ron Johnson, 21, Kansas City, Mo., senior safety
Randy Kiesau, 20, Clinton, Okla., junior defensive back
Mal Kimmel, 21, St. Genevieve, Mo., senior center
Carl Krueger, 19, Chicago, sophomore tackle
Steve Moore, 21, Derby, senior linebacker
Tom Owen, 20, Temple Terrace, Fla., junior running back
Gene Robinson, 21, Dayton, Ohio, junior end
Tom Shedden, 20, Oklahoma City, junior tackle
Richard Stines, 19, Kansas City, Kan., sophomore guard
John Taylor, 21, Sherman, Texas, senior cornerback
Jack Vetter, 21, McPherson, senior tackle
• WSU staff and boosters •
Bert Katzenmeyer, 52, Wichita, athletic director
Marian Katzenmeyer, 52, Wichita, wife of athletic director
Ben Wilson, 44, Wichita, football coach
Helen Wilson, 44, Wichita, wife of coach
Tom Reeves, 31, Wichita, team trainer
Marty Harrison, 19, Argonia, head manager
Carl Fahrbach, 50, Wichita, dean of admissions
Floyd Farmer, 35, Wichita, ticket manager
Ray Coleman, 45, Wichita, chairman of Shocker Club
Maxine Coleman, 43, Wichita, wife of chairman
John Grooms, 42, Wichita ,won membership drive
Etta Mae Grooms, 38, Wichita, won membership drive
Ray King, 48, Hesston, state representative
Yvonne King, 41, Hesston, wife of state representative
• Crew •
Dan Crocker, 27, Oklahoma City, pilot
Judy Lane, 28, Oklahoma City, flight attendant
Judy Dunn, 39, Oklahoma City, flight attendant