WELD COUNTY, Colo. — Two leaders of the Great Bend Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who died in a plane crash Tuesday are being remembered as servants of the Lord.
The pilot was identified as Jared Langston, 35, Holyrood. Langston and his wife are the parents of two children.
Langston served as Elder's Quorum president and Young Men's president for those 12 to 18 years old, according to Peter Solie, a Barton Community College communications and journalism instructor. Solie serves as first counselor at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
According to Solie, Langston studied aviation at Kansas State University in Salina and aspired to become a commercial airline pilot. In addition to being a flight instructor based at Salina Regional Airport, Langston was a Air Force veteran who served in Japan and a Holyrood volunteer firefighter.
Benjamin Bates, 41, who resided in Rice County, served as Bishop of the Great Bend Ward, according to Solie. Bates served as past counselor and Young Men's president
"They loved their families and they loved the Lord," Solie said. "They willingly served the Lord. The congregation believes in Christ and believes in salvation. But we are filled with sorrow because we they will no longer be with us. What they need is our prayers."
Bates and his wife and parents to three sons and three daughters. Bates owned Westcrete, Inc., a cement contracting company based in Lyons that specializes in commercial-sized structures for the agricultural industry. Bates was working on a construction project near Platteville, Colo. Solier said Bates was working on acquiring his pilot's license.
The Beechcraft plane crashed in a field east of Ault, Colo. Tuesday The Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza was registered to Larry and Julie Bernard of Russell.
Weld County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a plane crash at 11:37 a.m. Tuesday in a field near Weld County roads 80 and 43, about 10 miles northeast of Greeley, Colo.
The cause of the crash is still undetermined and remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, according to The Greeley Tribune.
Terry Williams, spokesman for NTSB, said Wednesday the Bonanza was moved from the crash site to a secure location where investigators will perform a examination of the wreckage, including the engines. NTSB investigators also will look into Langston’s background and training, as well as the aircraft’s maintenance records.
A probable cause of the crash will be available when NTSB investigators submit their final report, which often takes a year.