JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas businessman, his wife and their four children were killed when their small plane crashed into a swampy area of central Florida on Thursday, and word quickly spread to their hometown where the family was known for their charitable work and always having a house full of neighborhood kids.
The single-turboprop, fixed wing plane was heading home to Junction City from the Bahamas when it broke apart and went down about 12:30 p.m. in the Tiger Creek Preserve, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.
Deputies reached the area by helicopters but it was clear there were no survivors, the sheriff’s office said. The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known, though parts of the plane were found nearly 3 ½ miles away, investigators said.
Ron Bramlage, a prominent businessman in Junction City who owned Roadside Ventures LLC, was piloting the plane. The 45-year-old, his wife Rebecca, 43, and the couple’s children — Brandon, 15; Boston, 13; Beau, 11; and 8-year-old Roxanne — died.
“It’s just a horrific loss,” Junction City Mayor Pat Landes said, adding that the couple supported many local projects and provided college scholarships. The family was well known in town and at Kansas State University, where the basketball stadium is named for Ron Bramlage’s grandfather.