Three men killed in Coleman County plane crash identified

Local News

COLEMAN COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Three men killed in a plane crash in Coleman County Thursday have been identified.

Coleman County Sheriff Les Cogdill confirmed Chase Hunter Bellah, 31, of Brownwood, Gary Alan Morrison, 65, of Abilene, and Charles Cleveland ‘Cleve’ Whitener, 70, of Abilene, were all killed upon impact when a Beechcraft King Air plane piloted by Bellah crash-landed on the west side of Lake Coleman.

Bellah lost contact with air traffic control around 6:00 a.m., soon after leaving Abilene for a hunting trip.

In his last call to the control center, he is heard saying his equipment may be faulty and that his instruments have gone out, so he wanted to head back to Abilene instead of continuing forward.

It took first responders and volunteer search crews hours to find the crash site, and when they did, it was apparent there were no survivors.

Cleve Whitener, founder of Lauren Engineering

Now, the NTSB and the FAA are investigating the exact cause of this crash, and electrical issues are believed to be a factor.

Cleve Whitener is the founder of Lauren Engineering and was still serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at the time of his death.

He also served as Chairman of the West Central Texas Workforce Development Board and Chairman of Harmony Family Services. 

BigCountryHomepage will provide updates if additional information is released.

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