After much speculation, it’s been confirmed: former Senator Ted Stevens was killed yesterday evening in a plane crash over Alaska. He was 86. The Alaskan politician was on his way to a fishing trip when his plane crashed into a mountainside, killing himself and at least four others. Survivors include former NASA chief Sean O’Keefe – Stevens’ longtime fishing buddy – O’Keefe’s son, and two unidentified individuals.
The wreckage was discovered by scout planes that were dispatched after Stevens’ craft failed to show at its destination. Poor weather conditions hindered rescue efforts, and the scene was not reached until early this morning. Survivors have since been flown to area hospitals; the bodies of Stevens and the other victims remain at the scene.
Stevens served 40 years in the Senate, and is the longest-serving Republican Senator in US history. Read about initial reaction to his death in the Wall Street Journal, or leave your own reactions in the comments section below.