Victims Identified in fatal plane crash created: March 24, 2002 - 10:34 PM
March 26, 2002 - 11:18 AM
Web Producer Jeannie Piper

CASTLE ROCK - Denver car dealer Kent Rickenbaugh, his wife, Caroline, and their son Bart were killed Sunday in a plane crash near Centennial Airport. Pilot Dr. Steven Mostow also died.

Kent Rickenbaugh, 64, owned two car dealerships in the Denver area. Caroline Rickenbaugh, 62, was known for her involvement in the community. Bart Rickenbaugh, 35, lived in Bozeman, Mont.

Mostow, 63, was one of the country's leading infectious disease experts and was associate dean at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Mostow was a crusader for better health, an early advocate for widespread flu vaccinations and more recently an expert on the threat of bioterrorism. He was a champion for rural health care and childhood immunizations. For the past three years, he had been helping to expand the 9Health Fair, a program that benefits thousands of people in Colorado.

Investigators returned to the scene of the plane crash Monday to try to figure out why the twin-engine Cessna 340 went down.

The plane was headed to Centennial from Gunnison when Mostow reported engine trouble around 4:30 p.m., Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jerry Snyder said.

The plane crashed near mile marker 190 in unincorporated Douglas County.

Witnesses say they saw the plane go down. "As we came over the hill we saw the plane coming fairly straight toward the highway actually, and swerving from side to side, losing altitude fast," Willen Guyer said. "I think the guy saw the highway and turned away from it and when he turned left he just went nose down into the ground."

The weather was cloudy with snow flurries; however, National Transportation Safety Board investigators said weather did not appear to be a factor in the crash, Douglas County Sheriff's Office spokesman Bernie Harris said.

Click here for video of the plane crash

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