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Two Pipe Creek Township firefighters killed in Grant Co. plane crash

Posted at 10:54 PM, Apr 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 18:25:00-04

MARION, Ind. -- Two members of the Pipe Creek Township Fire Department were killed when their small plane clipped another plane at takeoff at a small airport in Marion County Monday evening. 

The accident happened just after 5 p.m. at the Marion Municipal Airport off State Road 9 in Marion. 

Grant County Coroner Chris Butche says a smaller plane clipped a larger plane that was landing. The smaller plane then crashed and caught fire, killing the pilot and a passenger. 

No injuries were reported in the other plane. 

READ | Two men killed when two planes collide at Marion airport

The pilot of the small plane Kyle Hibst, 31,  and the passenger David Wittkamper, 31, were both killed in the crash. 

Both men are from Elwood and were members of the Pipe Creek Township Volunteer Fire Department. 

"The Pipe Creek Township Fire Department is saddened by the loss of two firefighters from their department tonight," the Pipe Creek Township Fire Department said in a statement released Monday evening. 

Hibst joined the fire department in February 2011 and served as a firefighter and EMS Chief for the department. His wife is also a member of the fire department and they have a young son. 

Wittkamper joined the fire department in May 2007 and has served as a firefighter for nearly 11 years. His father and grandfather were also members of the Pipe Creek Fire Department in the past. He leaves behind a wife, Autumn. 

"Chief Richard Shepherd is saddened by the loss of these two great individuals who have given so much back to their family, community and this fire department.  The members of the Pipe Creek Fire Department are all at a loss as they come together to help each other thru this difficult time.   Chief Shepherd is grateful for the outpouring of support from the emergency services in Madison County.  Please respect the privacy of our firefighters, and the families who have lost loved ones tonight."

Funeral arrangements for both men are pending. 

A procession escorted the bodies of Wittkamper and Hibst to Fort Wayne for an autopsy on Thursday. 

You can watch the beginning of that procession below. 

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