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ROSSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – Federal investigators say the pilot of a plane struggled to regain control of the aircraft before it crashed into a central Indiana farm field, killing all three people aboard.

The National Transportation Safety Board says in a preliminary report into the Feb. 22 crash that pilot Nathan Saari told an air traffic controller the Cessna 441 Conquest Turboprop was “out of control” shortly after takeoff from Eagle Creek Airport in Indianapolis, bound for Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The report says Saari also reported control problems to a controller in Chicago.

The plane crashed just north of the small town of Rossville, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

The crash also killed John T. Pagel, owner of Kewaunee, Wisconsin-based Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, and his son-in-law, Steven Witcpalek.


Layne Christian Favors pleaded guilty to possession of three counts of child pornography and a count of invasion of privacy and was sentenced to a year on probation, according to online court documents filed Sept. 26.


FRANKFORT, Ind. (WISH) — The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office on Friday arrested a high school student on accusations of having child pornography on his phone.

Investigators continued Friday to try to identify the victims in those pictures and to see if any of them are from the area.

The investigation began about two weeks ago when authorities got a tip about 18-year-old Layne Christian Favors.

Authorities said Favors has since bonded out of the Clinton County Jail.

“We’ve worked pornography cases before, but, to this magnitude, it’s probably going to be up at the upper level of our investigation,” Chief Deputy Joseph Mink said. “Because I’ve been here for a long time and I’ve never seen this much.”

The chief deputy said investigators searched the suspect’s phone and found more than a hundred pictures of child pornography.

“Even though he’s a young adult, kids, they do some crazy things with their cellphones. It’s kind of a situation they don’t realize the outcome,” he said.

The county has four public high schools: Clinton Central, Clinton Prairie, Frankfort and Rossville, and at least one private school with a K-12 program. Favors was arrested Friday at one of the county’s high schools, authorities said, but they declined to say which one because of the ongoing investigation.

“Because, if we’re having multiple victims or whatever from this individual’s school, we want to make sure we’ve got everybody deposed before we release it,” he said.

Authorities were urging parents to check their children’s phones and monitor their activity online.

“It’s imperative that you make sure what you’re child is doing with this phone. We’re in the great age of technology, and there’s a lot of weirdness out there in the technology,” he said.

Favors was arrested on three counts of possession of child pornography and one count of invasion of privacy.

The sheriff’s office said potential victims can call the sheriff’s office at (765) 659- 6394, extension 204.

OWASCO, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana State Police say no one survived a small-plane crash in southern Carroll County on Thursday night.

The plane was on its way from Indianapolis to Green Bay, Wisconsin, according to its flight plan. It had flown from Green Bay to Indianapolis this morning, arriving at 9:30 a.m.

Police say the crash of the Cessna Conquest II twin-turboprop happened about 7:35 p.m. near the intersection of county roads 600 South and 450 West, about 3 miles north of the town of Rossville and less than a mile east of the unincorporated community of Owasco.

The Associated Press is reporting that Indiana State Police say at least three people were on board. Our sister station WFRV reports that one of the people on board has been identified as John Pagel, the owner of a large farm in Wisconsin. His son-in-law, Steven Witcpalek, and pilot Nathan Saari have also been identified as victims.

The plane was headed to Green Bay-Austin Straubel International Airport, according to WFRV. Federal aviation records show the plane is owned by Ponderosa Aviation, which shares an address with Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee, Wisconsin.

State police said the plane left Indianapolis from Eagle Creek Airpark on the city’s northwest side.

Police said the crash is in a rural, remote area. The remoteness was hampering communications. Mud was hampering the investigators.

Witnesses told police they heard a racecar sound before the crash.

Emergency radio traffic indicated a large debris field.

Wayne Township Fire Department in Indianapolis tweeted it was providing assistance with an unmanned aerial system.

Investigators said they expected to remain at the crash scene through sunrise.

No additional information was immediately available.

MONITOR, Ind. (WLFI) – A woman died Friday from injuries she suffered in a two-car crash on State Road 26 East in Tippecanoe County.

Emergency personnel were called just before 9 a.m. Thursday to the 7500 block of State Road 26 East, near Monitor, on Tippecanoe County’s east side.

Deputies with the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office told News 18 that a truck pulling canoes was heading east on State Road 26 when the trailer fishtailed over the center line and hit a pickup headed west.

The sheriff’s office identified the woman who died at IU Health Arnett in Lafayette as Kathleen Hufford, 46, of Rossville.

Hufford’s truck also had three children inside, but none of them were injured. The driver hauling the canoes was also not hurt.

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ROSSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – Two boys were injured Sunday evening when they were thrown from the ATV they were operating.

The incident occurred in the 3000 block W. on County Road 725 in Carroll County.

The 11-year-old and 12-year-old boys were operating an ATV at a high rate of speed when they lost control and struck multiple trees.

Both boys were wearing helmets. Injuries sustained include a broken femur, broken fibula, multiple abrasions and lacerations.

They were transported for further medical treatment and remain in stable condition at this time.

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the crash.

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