Shock Waves In Oklahoma

Producer Hawk Koch attends the premiere of "Fracture" at The Mann Village Theatre in Los Angeles on April 11, 2007.
The sorrow is palpable in Oklahoma, in the aftermath of a Saturday night plane crash that killed two Oklahoma State basketball players, and six staffers and broadcasters associated with the team, as well as the pilot and the co-pilot.

CBS News Correspondent Teresa Estacio reports the plane went down 40 miles east of Denver, in a snowstorm, not long after taking off from Jefferson County Airport following a game in Colorado.

Oklahoma State players Nate Fleming and Daniel Lawson, sports information employee Will Hancock, Oklahoma State director of basketball operations Pat Noyes, trainer Brian Luinstra, student manager Jared Weiberg, broadcast engineer Kendall Durfey, Oklahoma City broadcaster Bill Teegins, pilot Denver Mills and co-pilot Bjorn Falistrom were all on board the plane, said Oklahoma State sports information director Steve Buzzard.

Bill Teegins

Bill Teegins, the play-by-play voice of Oklahoma State University football and basketball, would admit to calling Cowboy games like a fan.

"By the tone of your voice, OSU fans can tell how it's going," Teegins said in an interview last year. "I'm doing games for OSU fans; if you do a game for CBS radio, obviously you do it different."

Teegins, 48, a Tulsa native who was sports director of CBS affiliate KWTV in Oklahoma City, was one of 10 people killed in the crash.

"He loved doing the OSU calls, whether it be basketball or football," said David Griffin, president and general manager of KWTV. "He's a great loss, as is everybody aboard that plane. He will be missed by everbody here at News9."

Teegins became known for his trademark, enthusiastic call, "HE GOT IT!" when an OSU player made a basket.

Teegins loved baseball and had a huge baseball collection. He was known to play baseball trivia with anyone, anytime and could quote the most obscure stats, the most forgotten names.

"You couldn't stump Teegins," said Ed Murray, who worked in sports at KWTV before moving to noon news anchor in 1999.

Teegins had little play-by-play experience when OSU hired him. School officials obviously wanted the clout provided by his television presence.

"By his own admission, he kind of learned on the go," said Tom Dirato, OSU's athletic coordinator for radio and television. "He's said it many times: He's so much better than he wa."

In an interview with the Daily Oklahoman, Teegins expressed his love of sports broadcasting. "That's the great thing," he said. "To think people are listening. They're getting the game through you. That's a real high.

"Every game is so much fun. I can't remember a game, coming off the air, that I didn't say 'Man, this was fun.'"

—Associated Press

"The players are handling this with each other and obviously are grieving very deeply," Buzzard said.

Buzzard said the school would discuss whether to postpone the team's Tuesday game at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.

The Beechcraft King Air 200 Catpass, which seats 11 passengers, crashed at about 5:35 p.m., said FAA spokesman Jerry Snyder.

No flight-data recorders were found Saturday night, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Arnold Scott said. Wreckage was strewn over about a quarter of a mile in a field.

"There's luggage and parts of seats and pieces of clothing. Everything that would be on an airplane was scattered and shattered," said police Sgt. Craig Coleman. "It is very gruesome."

Dairy farmer Larry Pearson was working outside when he heard the plane and saw a fireball on the ground.

"All we heard was a real loud engine sound. It sounded like a shrill noise. Then I saw a big fireball," Pearson said.

He called 911 and cut through a fence so emergency vehicles could reach the plane.

"This is indeed a very sad day for Oklahoma State University," OSU President James Halligan said.

"Tragedies catch you off guard and by surprise. But you know I put my faith in God so every time we board the planes I think it's his will whether or not we make it back safely. My prayers go out to the families and Oklahoma State University," University of Colorado basketball coach Ricardo Patton told Denver's KCNC-TV.

In Washington, the NTSB said a team headed by board member John Hammerschmidt would fly to Colorado on Sunday morning to initiate the agency's investigation of the crash.

The Oklahoma State team had a Big 12 conference matchup Saturday against the University of Colorado, losing 81-71 to end a five-game winning streak. The team had a 13-4 overall record, 4-2 in league play.

At OSU, several players and girlfriends of teammates came in and out of the school's basketball office with tears in their eyes, and some were sobbing hard.

Tom Dirato, with the OSU Broadcast Group, said he and assistant coach Kyle Keller almost got on the plane that crashed, but were moved at the last minute to another plane.

Dirato's back has been bothering him, and Coach Eddie Sutton kindly let him switch to one of the faster-moving corporate jets that also carried team members and others back to Oklahoma.

"This is part of a family in the athletic department. If anythig like this happens it affects many, many people," said Dirato.

The downed airliner would be "less prone to get above the weather" than the other two planes chartered by the team, which were corporate jets, Stillwater, Okla., airport manager Gary Johnson said.

In 1977, 14 University of Evansville basketball players and coach Bobby Watson were killed in a plane crash.

In 1970, 36 Marshall football players and 39 coaches, administrators, community leaders, fans and crew died when the school's chartered jet crashed. A month before, a plane carrying the Wichita State football team crashed in Colorado, killing 31 people.

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