LAKE WALES, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas businessman, his wife and their four children were killed when their small plane crashed into a swampy area of central Florida. The Polk County (FL) Sheriff's office says the plane went down about 12:30 pm Thursday in Tiger Creek Preserve. A news release says 45-year-old Ronald Bramlage was piloting the plane headed from the Bahamas to Junction City. It had stopped for customs in Fort Pierce, Florida, and had taken off a half-hour before the crash. The sheriff's office says the single-turboprop, fixed wing plane started to break apart and crashed. When deputies reached the area by helicopter, it was clear no one had survived.
Ron Bramlage was the owner of Roadside Ventures LLC in Junction City. He is the grandson of the late Junction City businessman and philanthropist Fred Bramlage. Fred Bramlage was the chairman of the capital campaign committee that raised money for the construction of a multi-purpose arena on the K-State campus that replaced the university's former basketball venue, Ahearn Field House. The facility, completed in 1988, is named Fred Bramlage Coliseum in his honor. It is home to the K-State men's and women's basketball teams.
K-State issued a statement about the plane crash. "We are shocked and saddened by the tragic news of the deaths of Ron and Becky Bramlage and their children today (THUR). The Bramlage family holds a special place in the history of Kansas State University and K-State Athletics, and Ron and Becky have been loyal supporters and great fans of K-State. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bramlage family during this difficult time."