La Plata community remembers pilot in Chariton County plane crash

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LA PLATA - Many members of a small Missouri town were in mourning Monday after a plane crash Sunday night that left two dead.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said it believes the pilot was 40-year-old Andrew J. Beautte, who was from La Plata.

Beautte was married to Jill Beautte, and had a daughter in high school and a son in elementary school.

KOMU 8 talked to many people who lived in Beautte's town, who said they were praying for the family.

One extended family member said she's hurting for his children. Lori Smith is the aunt of Andrew Beautte's wife. 

"I told myself that today, all I am going to say is 'pray for the kids,'" Smith said through tears.

A family friend said she will also be praying for his kids.

"My heart bleeds for all the family: immediate as well as Jill and the kids," Lisa Baker said. "It's a sad situation, but it'll be just fine. God don't give you more than you can handle."

 Susie Sees, another family friend from church, said she's "praying for the family's strength" during this holiday season.

"It's such a sad, sad tragedy for them to have to deal with, especially during this time of year," Sees said. "We feel really bad about it. It was heartbreaking to hear."

Funeral arrangements had not been determined as of Monday.

Earlier details of the plane crash

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Troop B Headquarters received a report around 9:15 p.m. Sunday night of a small aircraft crashing about eight miles northeast of Keytesville in Chariton County.

The Boone County Medical Examiner said Beautte and Dawn Harl, 38, of Des Moines, Iowa were pronounced dead at the scene.

State troopers, Chariton County deputies and other emergency rescue personnel responded to the scene and located the wreckage of a 1946 Cessna 140 single-engine airplane in a hayfield.

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