Skip to main content

Update: Exchange student, pilot identified as plane crash victims

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A 16-year-old foreign exchange student who was spending his last week in the U.S. has been identified as the passenger who died when a small plane crashed into a home in a Sauk Rapids neighborhood on Friday night.

The St. Cloud Times reports that the student, Alexander Voigt, was from Germany and had been spending his junior year at Technical High School in St. Cloud. He had been in Minnesota for 10 months and was scheduled to fly home this week. Voigt had been hosted by St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis during his stay in the community.

Earlier, FOX 9 had reported that Sun Country Airlines pilot Scott Olson, 60, was behind the controls of the Brumwell RV-6 experimental plane that crashed and set the home on fire.

Olson's daughter was friends with Voigt. Kleis said that Olson had agreed to give Voigt an aerial tour of the St. Cloud area so Voigt could take pictures. Kleis has been in contact with Voigt's parents, who will fly to St. Cloud this week to collect their son's remains.

"Three families are grieving," Kleis said, fighting back tears. "We're really one family now."

Witnesses told the National Transportation Safety Board that Olson was flying near an Allegiant Airlines plane, inbound from Arizona, before the crash. NTSB officials are investigating whether Olson's plane was caught in the larger airline's wake turbulence.

"When a plane flies through the air, it creates almost like a little tornado coming off those wing tips, but it's horizontal, Peter Knudson with the NTSB said. "So, instead of going up and down, it's side-to-side and trails the plane."

According to the Star Tribune, Courtney Breth saw Olson's plane just behind the Allegiant jet right before the plane nose-dived into the house.

Jeff Lewis, a retired air controller from Oregon who analyzes accident data and pushes for FAA reforms, told the Star Tribune that controllers are vigilant about preventing planes from getting behind or beneath another plane because wake turbulence can cause a smaller plane to lose control and flip.

The home’s owner, Jeff Hille, told the St. Cloud Times that one person, his brother-in-law Kole Heckendorf, was in the house at the time of the crash, but escaped uninjured.

FOX 9 says Heckendorf jumped to safety from a second-floor window of the home after the crash.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.

gas

State to help 44 Minnesota gas stations add E15 pumps

The yellow 88 button is coming to more gas stations in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

FBI, police investigating bank robbery at Edina's 50th and France

An ATM technician was robbed by four men at a U.S. Bank.

Ethan Glynn

Paralyzed Bloomington football player begins rehabilitation in Colorado

Ethan Glynn is at a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital.

Press Bar fire

Owner of St. Cloud bar gets 6 years for arson, ordered to repay $3M

A February 2020 fire at the Press Bar and Parlor was later determined to be an insurance job.

IMG_5455

Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 2.23.15 PM

Walz sends MN first responders to help with hurricane recovery in Florida

Eight members of the Minnesota All Hazards Incident Management Team will travel to Florida.

Related