Leesburg, KY Private Plane Crash, Feb 2000

Tony Bettenhausen plane wreck 2-15-2000.jpg Tony Bettenhausen died 2-15-2000.jpg Tony Bettenhausen died 2-15-2000 grave.jpg


Leesburg, Ky. -- (AP) -- TONY BETTENHAUSEN, the youngest son in a famous auto racing family who drove Indy cars before becoming a team owner, died in a plane crash Monday. He was 48.
BETTENHAUSEN, his wife, SHIRLEY, and two men were killed when the plane crashed about noon on a farm some 30 miles from Lexington, said Brad Stevens, and executive with Bettenhausen Motorsports in Indianapolis.
SHIRLEY BETTENHAUSEN was the daughter of longtime Inday can driver Jim McElreath. The two men killed were identified as RUSS ROBERTS, a partner in Bettenhausen's racing team, and LARRY RANGEL, and Indiana businessman.
The plane took off from Tri-City Airport in Blountville, Tenn., for Indianapolis, the FAA said. The Bettenhausens were returning home from CART team testing in Homestead, Fla. Other details of the crash were not immediately known.
"Tony was always a gentleman," said Dick Jordan, a spokesman for the U.S. Auto Club. "We certainly will miss him, as will everybody in the racing community."
David Muzio, a National Transportation and Safety Board investigator, said that the plane had been in contact with an air traffic control center before the crash.

Hutchinson News Kansas 2000-02-15