Four dead in Iowa plane crash after pilot reportedly had a heart attack

A small plane crashed in central Iowa, killing all four people on board, after the pilot apparently had a heart attack and a student pilot was to attempt an emergency landing, authorities said Saturday.

The plane dropped off radar Friday night about 4 miles from Guthrie Center airport, the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Searchers found the wreckage Saturday morning in a cow pasture southwest of Guthrie Center, about 115 miles southwest of Le Mars, where the plane had taken off.

The sheriff’s office identified those killed as the pilot, Edward Ralph Anderson, 49; Patrick Kellen, 36; and Samantha Clark, 15, all of Le Mars; and Tyler Douvia, 28, of nearby Merrill.

The 1979 Piper single-engine plane was headed to Osceola, south of Des Moines, when the Des Moines air traffic controller requested an emergency landing for it at the Guthrie Center airport, the sheriff’s office said. It said a student pilot was going to attempt an emergency landing, but it didn’t specify whether that was Kellen, Clark or Douvia.

The plane crashed “very hard,” and all the victims were found dead at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.


Tom Mullally, who manages the Le Mars airport, said the four were going on a hunting trip.

Their bodies were taken to the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy. The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the cause of the crash.