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March 19, 2013

Plane crash kills ex-OU quarterback great Steve Davis

South Bend, Ind —  

A former University of Oklahoma starting quarterback was one of two people killed when a small aircraft smashed into a house in northern Indiana, officials said Monday.

St. Joseph County Coroner Randy Magdalinski identified the victims of Sunday’s crash in South Bend as 60-year-old Steven Davis and 58-year-old Wesley Caves, both of Tulsa, Okla.

It was the same Davis who played quarterback for the Sooners in the 1970s, according to an Oklahoma athletics official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the school had not yet announced the death.

Caves owned the Beechcraft Premier I twin-jet that clipped two houses before slamming into a third home and screaming to a halt Sunday afternoon. Caves had a pilot’s license, but it was not immediately clear if he was flying the plane when it crashed.

Davis went 32-1-1 as the Sooners’ starter from 1973 to 1975, starting every game of Barry Switzer’s first three seasons as head coach. Oklahoma tied Southern Cal in the second game of the 1973 season, then ran off 28 straight victories with Davis under center. The Sooners went 11-0 in 1974, then won the national title again the following year after going 11-1.

The plane leaked enough fuel in the crash to force the evacuation of hundreds of people from surrounding homes. The front part of the fuselage sat wedged inside the house just southwest of the South Bend Regional Airport where the pilot had tried to land the plane Sunday afternoon, minutes before the crash.

Two others on board the plane survived, South Bend Assistant Fire Chief John Corthier said. South Bend Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Maggie Scroope said Monday that Jim Rogers was in serious condition and Christopher Evans was in fair condition.

A woman who was injured on the ground, Diana McKeown, was in fair condition, Scroope said.

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