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Barton County Commissioner Killed In Plane Crash

Associated Press - April 23, 2014 7:09 am

The Kansas Highway Patrol says a county commissioner from western Kansas died when his plane crashed while he was crop dusting.

The patrol says 67-year-old Don Cates, a Barton County commissioner from Claflin, died Tuesday afternoon when his ultralight, single-engine plane hit a power line and crashed into a ditch just northwest of Garfield in Pawnee County. Cates was the only person on board.

Cates joined the Barton County Commission in 2010.

Cates was a pilot in Vietnam and was awarded several military honors. He then flew for 34 years as a commercial pilot before reaching the mandatory retirement age. He worked several jobs after that and was flying for Pratt’s Farmers Spraying Service when he crashed.

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Associated Press information from: Great Bend Tribune