OSU officials to dedicate memorial to plane crash victims Aug. 25 in Colorado

Saturday, July 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma State University officials will dedicate a memorial to the 10 men who died in a plane crash Jan. 27 while returning from a basketball game with the University of Colorado.

Harry Birdwell, vice president of business and external relations at OSU, said Friday that the dedication ceremony will take place Aug. 25 at the memorial site located near Strasburg, Colo.

``It is under construction now,'' Birdwell said. ``It should be ready for the dedication in August.''

The memorial is made primarily of concrete and granite and features 10 panels with information on each victim, officials said. There will be a photographic etching selected by the families and some words that each family has selected for their loved ones, Birdwell said.

The memorial will have an etching in the middle of the Spirit Rider, which became a symbol of the tragedy. There is also a memorial plaque, ``We Will Remember.''

The in-ground memorial will be surrounded by pine trees and a wrought iron railing fence and features two arrows, one pointing to the location of the crash and the other pointing toward Stillwater, officials said.

The memorial will cost about $100,000 and is being paid for through private donations, Birdwell said. Breighton Landscape of Denver is the contractor and Gary Sparks of Tulsa is the architect.

OSU officials have invited the families of the victims to attend the memorial dedication. OSU President James Halligan, members of the OSU athletic department and regents are also scheduled to attend.

The memorial sits on land donated by Comanche Livestock Co., whose principal owners are Daryl and Bette Harther. Their grandson, Oklahoma City sportscaster Jeff Losh, worked at KWTV with Bill Teegins, who died in the crash.

Final plans for a second memorial in Gallagher-Iba Arena are still being worked out, Birdwell said.

``I think it's dignified and it looks tasteful,'' Birdwell said. ``I think it will be built for the long term. It will help us all to recall.''

The Beechcraft Super King Air 200 carrying members of the OSU basketball contingent crashed about 40 miles east of Denver, just 18 minutes after leaving the Jefferson County Airport.

In addition to Teegins, killed were OSU reserve players Nate Fleming and Daniel Lawson; sports information employee Will Hancock; director of basketball operations Pat Noyes; trainer Brian Luinstra; student manager Jared Weiberg; broadcast engineer Kendall Durfey; pilot Denver Mills and co-pilot Bjorn Fahlstrom.