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DEA Agent Among Victims of Airplane Crash in Kansas on New Year’s Eve

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A DEA special agent was among two people killed when a single-engine airplane crashed almost immediately after takeoff at Johnson County Executive Airport in Kansas on New Year’s Eve.

The Kansas Highway Patrol identified the victims as DEA Special Agent Jonathan J. Vannatta, 48 of Maumelle, Ark., and Darcy L. Matthews, 43, of Belton, Texas. Vannatta was the pilot, investigators said.

A DEA spokesperson confirmed that Vannatta worked with the DEA but was not on assignment, according to 41 Action News.

Investigators said they are still trying to determine what caused the accident. A preliminary report is expected within two to three weeks.

Early accounts suggest the plane veered into trees and crashed east of the runway before catching fire.


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