Body Of Junction City Teen Recovered After Devastating Plane Crash

By: Lindsey Rogers, Melissa Brunner
By: Lindsey Rogers, Melissa Brunner

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (WIBW) -- The bodies of all six members of a Junction City family have been recovered from the site of a Florida plane crash.

The victims are identified as 45 year old Ronald Bramlage, his wife, 43 year old Rebecca Bramlage and their children Brandon, 15; Boston, 13; Beau, 11; and three year old, Roxanne.

The Bramlage family died when their plane crashed in a remote area near Lake Wales, Florida Thursday afternoon.

They were traveling from the Bahamas back to their Junction City home in Kansas when the single engine plane went down in a swampy area shortly after noon. Ron Bramlage was the pilot.

Pieces of the aircraft were scattered over a four-mile area in rough terrain.

Five of the family members were found deceased inside their crashed plane Thursday. Crews found the body of 13-year-old Boston Friday afternoon in underbrush in a heavily wooded area.

Authorities said it appears he was not strapped in and was likely thrown from the plane after a wing snapped, causing a gaping hole in the side of the aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board has started its investigation into the crash.

“We have evidence of structural separations of a portion of the left wing, the right wing and a horizontal stabilizer. We’re in the process of trying to determine all the parts that are separated and then we’re going to inspect them and reconstruct the aircraft at another location and our main goal and job is to determine what happened and why,” said Senior Air Safety Investigator Tim Monville during a news conference.

“Our heart breaks. You have no idea what it’s like to see a mother, a father and a group of beautiful children deceased in an aircraft. And it’s fortunately something the majority of the world will never have to see,” added Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

News of their deaths continues to send shock waves throughout the country and here at home.

WIBW sat down Friday with Gery and Patti Schoenrock, close friends of the Bramlage family as they try to cope with the tragic loss.

"They were a joyful family, a fun family to be with and we shared a lot of wonderful time together. It’s just really hard to wrap our minds around. I keep thinking we’re going to get the call that something was tragically wrong with the information and they’re going to be back soon. It’s just hard to think about not having them here. They’re just going to leave a big hole in many peoples’ lives. It’s just a sad thing to think that you’re not going to see those children grow up,” Patti said.

“It’s just gut-wrenching. There seems to be no logical explanation why such a thing should happen to such a dear, loving family and to lose all six members in such a tragic way- you can't say anything, you really can't do anything- it's pure frustration and heartache,” Gery added.

A candlelight vigil is planned for Friday night at 7 PM to honor their family. It will be held at their home on McFarland Road.

Funeral services are pending. Sources say members of the Bramlage family have traveled to Florida to identify the remains of their loved ones.

Ron Bramlage was a prominent philanthropist and businessman in Junction City. Becky. Bramlage was the President of the Board of Education for Geary County USD 475.

The couple were graduates of Kansas State University, and members of the K-State Alumni Association, President's Club, Foundation Trustees and Ahearn Fund.

Ron was the grandson of the late Fred Bramlage, a 1935 graduate of K-State and Junction City businessman. Fred Bramlage was the lead contributor to the construction of Bramlage Coliseum, a multi-purpose arena that opened in 1988 and is home to the K-State men's and women's basketball teams.

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