Students from Ill., Kenya die in Mich. plane crash

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MANLIUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Hope College says a student from Kenya was piloting a small plane when it crashed in southwest Michigan, killing himself and a student from Illinois.

Hope College spokesman Tom Renner said Monday that 23-year-old David Otai (OH’-ty) of Nairobi, Kenya, and 20-year-old Emma Biagioni (bya-jee-OH’-nee) of St. Charles, Ill., were aboard the single engine Cessna 172 that crashed Sunday.

Renner says Otai’s mother helped run Africa Inland Missions, an air service to missions in central Africa. Renner says Otai wanted to get a commercial pilot’s license so he could fly for the service.

The Allegan County sheriff’s department says the plane made a distress call shortly before crashing in a snow-covered field in Manlius Township.