Update: Exchange student, pilot identified as plane crash victims


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

Yia Vang - media photo - crop 2

Union Hmong Kitchen will move into Mpls. food hall

Chef Yia Vang said they're "so excited to settle in and have a home."

ISSAboveYou - Duluth North Shore - Oct 18 2021

Watch: Mille Lacs, Duluth captured in stunning video from ISS

The space station provides a vantage point 260 miles above the Earth's surface.


Ladies and gentlemen, The Weeknd has canceled his St. Paul show

He's made changes to his 2022 tour that involves scrapping his Xcel Energy Center gig.

Pixabay - police lights, tape

Man released from custody after admitting to fatal shooting in ND

Authorities said there is no threat to the public.


MN water tower in the running for Tank of the Year

It was the only water tank to receive more than 5,000 votes.

first snow

Any sign of snow in the forecast for Minnesota?

The stars could align for some flurries in northern Minnesota this week, but that's about it.

Flickr - 14 year old vaccine shot - Navy Medicine

Walz announces $200 reward for kids 12-17 who get COVID shots

Those ages have the lowest vaccination rates among all eligible age groups.