Lubbock Doctor Killed in Plane Crash Near KCBD Tower

Lubbock Doctor Killed in Plane Crash Near KCBD Tower
Source: Lubbock Fire Department
Source: Lubbock Fire Department

Staff Report
KCBD Newschannel 11

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Multiple sources have confirmed that Dr. Kenneth Mike Rice has been killed in a plane crash that ended directly north of the KCBD studio. At this time they're not sure if other people were on the plane.

Rice was a Doctor of Internal Medicine in Lubbock.

KCBD NewsChannel 11 is currently off the air after the plane hit our transmitter tower around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night.

The plane landed in a field on the north side of our building. No one at KCBD was injured, but we have been asked to leave the building. Fire officials believe our remaining tower may not be stable.

Lubbock Power and Light says power was restored to the area late last night.

We have received this statement from the FAA:

A single-engine Piper PA-46 crashed while on approach to Lubbock's Preston Smith International Airport. The aircraft dropped off radar screens about 7:30 p.m. local time.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed a crash site inside the city limits of Lubbock.

FAA investigators are on their way to the site. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.

Alex DeLeon was in the KCBD parking lot when the tower went down. He says he witnessed the entire incident.

"The antenna or tower just collapsed into two... I saw it falling this direction, so I got under this awning here, and I just felt like it was over me," DeLeon said.

A number of drivers were passing through the area and say they saw it from Avenue A.

We also spoke with John Houston, who examined the KCBD tower.

"A friend called me and he had seen a bunch of sparks," Houston said. "He said it fell and I knew right away that it wasn't just collapsed because of the wind or anything like that.

"He said it threw sparks. Usually they don't just fall and they're pretty quiet when they fall... usually ice or wind can take them down but in this case, I knew it was something different."