Local News

Barton County Commissioner Killed in Plane Crash

Don CatesThe Kansas Highway Patrol says a county commissioner from Barton County 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.

(Photo courtesy of Great Bend Tribune)

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