Two Oklahoma State University Coaches Killed In Crash

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Two Oklahoma State University women's basketball coaches were killed in the crash of a Piper Cherokee in Perry County, Ark., on Thursday afternoon, the university said Friday. Coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna died in the crash, which occurred about 45 miles west of Little Rock at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Also killed in the crash was the presumed pilot and aircraft owner, Sen. Olin Branstetter, 82, and his wife, Paula. According to CNN and other news sources, the coaches were on a recruiting trip.

Budke was in his seventh season as coach of the Cowgirls team and is credited with turning the team around and elevating it to national prominence. This is the second time OSU has been touched by an aircraft accident. In 2001, 10 men affiliated with the school's basketball team died in a crash in Colorado. Thursday's crash was reported by a local hunter's wife and apparently occurred on national forest land. According to the Arkansas State Police, debris were scattered over a 300- to 400-foot area. The Cherokee was a 1964 model.