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Former NDSU Player Safe After Plane Crashes into SW MN Home - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Former NDSU Player Safe After Plane Crashes into SW MN Home

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A former NDSU football player Kole Heckendorf had to jump to safety after a small plane crashed into a Minnesota home. 

The St. Cloud Times reports that the home's owner, Jeff Hille, was not home at the time, and neighbors alerted him to what had happened.

"They were panicking, so I just turned around and drove over here," Hille said, who is a teacher and the head baseball coach at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.

Hille's brother-in-law, Heckendorf, was in the home at the time of the crash but managed to escape through a window.

"I'm elated Kole's alive," Hille said.

The Sauk Rapids Police and Fire Departments say two people in the small plane died.

Both departments were dispatched to the home on the 700 block of Garden Place around 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Authorities say their preliminary investigation indicates that the two people in the small single engine private plane were site-seeing over the area when the plane crashed.

Hille's neighbor Tammy Lewandowski said she saw the plane strike Hille's house.

"(A larger plane) flew over, we were all watching the big plane it was really low and then from that direction we saw a white plane (come in) extremely low ... I know I saw something eject, like a parachute or person and then all of a sudden the plane started wobbling, it was coming at us and then we ran," Lewandowski said. "We turned around and saw it explode."

The National Transportation and Safety Board and FAA investigators will be on scene Saturday to investigate the cause of the crash.

The identities of the victims are being withheld pending notification of family.

Photo Courtesy Of: KARE-11

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