Watch CBSN Live

Ted Stevens Survived 1978 Plane Crash

Ted Stevens
In this Dec. 1978 photo, authorities examine the wreckage of a plane crash at Anchorage International Airport that killed Sen. Ted Stevens' first wife, Ann. Stevens died in a plane crash on Monday, Aug. 9, 2010 at the age of 86. AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, File

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Former Sen. Ted Stevens was in a plane crash overnight that killed five people and is now confirmed to be among the dead.

It was not, however, the first time the Senate's longest-serving Republican was in a plane crash in Alaska.

Stevens was one of two survivors in a 1978 plane crash at Anchorage International Airport. Five people were killed in that crash, including Stevens' first wife Ann.

The senator reportedly indirectly blamed his colleague from Alaska, then-Sen. Mike Gravel, for ending up in the plane crash. He had been flying in between Alaska and Washington to work on a land bill Gravel had been holding up. "After returning to Washington, Stevens began murmuring that Gravel's political gamesmanship was indirectly to blame for the crash," the New Republic reported in 2007.

Before that 1978 crash, the New York Times reports, Stevens reportedly said he had a premonition he would die in a plane crash.

Stevens' prediction was not entirely unlikely: Alaska is a very treacherous place to fly over, the Los Angeles Times reports. Comedian Will Rogers died in a plane crash in Alaska in 1935. In 1972, a plane carrying Louisiana Democrat Thomas Hale Boggs Sr., then the House Majority Leader, as well as Rep. Nick Begich, disappeared en route from Anchorage to Juneau.

Pictures: Ted Stevens Through the Years

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue