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Two Colorado men, including Boulder High School teacher, die in Nebraska plane crash

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Posted at 1:50 PM, Aug 01, 2022

MCPHERSON COUNTY, Nebraska — Two Colorado men died after a plane crashed north of Ringgold, Nebraska on the morning of July 25.

The McPherson County Sheriff's Office in Nebraska responded to a report of a plane crash around 8:40 a.m. that morning. The Logan County Sheriff's Office, McPherson County Fire and Rescue Department, and Nebraska State Patrol also responded to the scene.

Once authorities arrived at the scene, they located two deceased people, according to the McPherson County Sheriff's Office.

The victims were identified as James Michael Holland, 80, of Fort Collins and Daniel Benedict Zahner, 58, of Boulder, the sheriff's office said.

They had been flying from Greeley to Cherokee, Iowa, in the two-seat private plane when it crashed into a Nebraska pasture 11 miles north of Ringgold and 12 miles northeast of Tryon.

At the time, conditions were rainy with a very low ceiling and visibility, according to the sheriff's office.

Boulder High School Principal Alana Morales sent a letter home to families and staff to share the news that Zahner, a technology teacher at the high school, had died in the crash.

"All of our thoughts are with Mr. Zahner’s family at this time," Morales said. "He was instrumental in the creation of our innovative Millennium Lab and our robotics team The Landsharks, which is an award-winning organization at Boulder High School. Dan truly loved his job and his students and deeply impacted the lives around him."

There was no clear cause for the crash.

The National Transportation Board and Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.