Swedish player on OSU basketball team

Monday, January 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- Fredrik Jonzen lost his roommate and best friend in the plane crash that killed two Oklahoma State University basketball teammates and eight others last weekend in Colorado.

"It's like a nightmare. It is still hard to grasp what happened. I have traveled many times myself with the plane that crashed," Jonzen was quoted Monday as telling the Stockholm-based newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

After OSU lost to Colorado at Boulder, the players and team staff split up, as usual, to fit into three waiting aircraft, Jonzen said. Two had jet engines and the third was the smaller Beechcraft King Air 200 Catpass that crashed.

Jonzen's jet took off 15 minutes after the Beechcraft. "Sitting in the plane, we didn't know a thing. When we landed we were told that the smaller plane had had mechanical problems," Dagens Nyheter quoted him as saying.

"I did not think more about it, but went home and had dinner.

It wasn't until later in the evening, when we gathered in the basketball hall, that I realized that something terrible had happened," he said.

His best friend and roommate Nate Fleming was one of the victims. "We were together all the time. Right now it only feels empty and everyone is shocked," Jonzen said.