Area mourns the death of four men
The north central South Dakota community was hit with a tragedy early Monday morning when four people from this area were killed in a plane crash just south of Highmore.
Three men from longtime South Dakota ranching families, Nick Reimann of Ree Heights, Logan Rau of Java and Brent Beitelspacher of Bowdle, were returning from a Texas cattle sale in a plane piloted by D.J. Fischer when the crash occurred. Reimann, 33, Rau, 25, and Beitelspacher, 37, were prominent figures in the area cattle industry and Fischer was a well-known pilot, who worked with area Ag producers as a crop-sprayer. He was also a volunteer fireman and EMT.
Beitelspacher is well known to many in the Mobridge as he often fished walleye tournaments with Mobridge resident Corey Juneman. He was an avid outdoorsman and a promoter of the north central South Dakota outdoors experience.
According to a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman, the plane was traveling from Hereford, Texas, to Gettysburg. When the plane did not arrive in Gettysburg and the Fischer family did not hear from D.J., they called authorities. The plane was found about 3:30 a.m. in the South Dakota Wind Energy Center near Highmore. The wreckage of the plane was found at the base of one wind turbines, but there has been no official report from the National Transportation Safety Board as to the official cause of the accident. One of the blades of the turbine was on the ground with the plane wreckage and another damaged but was still hanging on the tower. The National Weather Service in Aberdeen says fog and low clouds combined for reduced visibility in the area Sunday night. Winds were out of the east at about 15 to 25 mph and there were scattered showers, some of them heavy.