Ed Driscoll

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) Reported Killed in Plane Crash

Breaking news from KTUU, an Alaskan NBC affiliate:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Dave Dittman, a former aide and longtime family friend of former Sen. Ted Stevens says Stevens was killed in a plane crash near Dillingham Monday night. Nine people were on board, including former NASA Chief Sean O’Keefe. Five people were killed in the crash, but other identities were not known, nor are the conditions of the survivors.

Late through the night rescue crews were battling bad weather conditions to reach the scene, where Good Samaritan personnel had already made it, said Air National Guard spokesman Maj. Guy Hayes.

A military C-130 and a Pave Hawk helicopter were waiting in Dillingham for the weather to break and reached the site just after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The Air Guard received the call about the crash 17 miles north of Dillingham at about 7:00 PM Monday night.

A woman who answered the phone at former State Sen. Ben Stevens’ home said they would not comment.

Assuming reports of his death are unfortunately correct, Stevens was 86; his first wife was killed in a plane crash in 1978 (And yes, this is from Wikipedia, but presumably the general details are reasonably accurate):

Early in 1952, Stevens married Ann Mary Cherrington, a Democrat and the adopted daughter of University of Denver chancellor Ben Mark Cherrington. She had graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and during Truman‘s administration had worked for the State Department.[19]

On December 4, 1978, the crash of a Learjet 25C at Anchorage International Airport killed five people. Ted Stevens survived; his wife, Ann, did not.[22] The building which houses the Alaska chapter of the American Red Cross at 235 East 8th Avenue in Anchorage is named the Ann Stevens Building in her honor.

Stevens and his first wife, Ann, had three sons, Ben, Walter, and Ted; and two daughters, Susan and Beth. Democratic Governor Tony Knowles appointed Ben to the Alaska Senate in 2001, and Ben served as the president of the state senate until the fall of 2006.

Ted Stevens remarried in 1980; he and his second wife, Catherine, have a daughter, Lily.

More as it comes in.

Update (1:10 PM PDT): While there had been some doubt earlier regarding whether or not Stevens was still alive, Reuters, the New York Times, and the Washington Post are all now reporting that sadly, he was indeed killed in the crash.