Lakeview Community rocked as Father/Son killed in small plane crash

By Shar Colombe/Todd County Tribune

Late Sunday night of September 8, Todd County Search and Rescue were called in to the rural Lakeview area with the report of a missing son and father. 

Clint VanderWey and his son, Jed, left the farm around 6:00 p.m. in Clint’s Cessna 140 Aircraft to check pivots. The last time family heard from the father and son was around 8:00 p.m., close to sundown. Now a worried family was forced to call for help, said a family spokesman.

Todd County Search and Rescue arrived in the area around 10:00 p.m., but due to the weather and lack of sunlight, a search and rescue plane could not get off the ground to look for Clint and Jed. A foot and vehicle search continued. The Federal Aviation Administration was called in as well.

September 9, early Monday morning, the Search and Rescue, Todd County Sheriff’s Department, Rosebud Sioux Tribe Emergency Preparedness Program, Rosebud Volunteer Fire Department, Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement, Game Fish and Parks, family and neighbors continued the search. 

Clint and Jed VanderWey were found not too far from their family farm, with two confirmed fatalities. Clint’s Cessna 140 plane went down less than a football field away from the farm. According to Mike Hodges with the National Transportation Safety Board out of Denver, Colo., who is the lead agency in what will be an ongoing investigation, the reason the plane crashed is unknown at this time. The investigators do not know at this time if the Cessna 140 came up against impact turbulence or terrain.

National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration and Plane Manufacturer Textron Aviation are working hand in hand with the Todd County Sheriff on site to assess the situation and investigate the plane crash thoroughly. 

A preliminary report will be published on the National Transportation Safety Board’s website within seven days; however, with these cases it takes one to two years for a final report. All three agencies investigate a variety of things when a plane goes down: the maintenance of the aircraft, the pilot’s training, weather conditions and Air traffic Control Services.

Clint VanderWey was born and raised in the Lakeview, S.D., area, just 15 miles southeast of St. Francis. He and his wife were local farmers who owned Lakeview Irrigation as well as L & V Innovations. 

Jed VanderWey, a sophomore at Valentine High School, was a cross country and track star. Jed is a young man who will be greatly missed by his peers and community.

Updated information: Visitation will be held Sunday, September 15, 2019, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., at Holmes Funeral Home, Valentine, Neb.

Funeral services will be held Monday, September 16, 2:00 p.m., at the United Methodist Church, Valentine.

In lieu of plants and flowers, the family has requested memorials be sent in care of the family for the Cody/Kigore School Shop class.

Arrangements by Holmes Funeral Home in Valentine, Neb.

502 Second Avenue, Martin, SD 57551 • 605-685-6866 • booster@gwtc.net