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Kentucky church members killed in crash of Comair Flight 5191

Bobbie Benton was thrilled when Clark, her husband of 30 years, arranged a special surprise for her 50th birthday — a trip to Aruba. The couple, members of the Fort Logan church in Stanford, Ky., boarded Comair Flight 5191 before dawn on Sunday excited about their romantic getaway. Moments later, the Bentons perished in the crash shortly after takeoff at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport. “Bobbie and Clark represented everything Christians ought to be,” said Wayne Galloway, minister of the 82-member Fort Logan church. “She taught Bible class, Clark taught and preached on occasion. They went out of their way to be an encouragement to others. We lost members of our family.”

Investigators said the regional airliner took off from the wrong runway, a strip with a cracked surface that was too short for the twin-engine jet, clipping trees and crashing into a field and bursting into flames. Everyone on board died except the co-pilot, who was pulled from the cockpit wreckage and now is in critical condition.
Galloway said church leaders received word about the crash before worship. Though shocked and saddened, they said they were glad at least to be together to comfort one another.
“We were very somber and subdued, but at the same time we recognized and spoke about the significance of the hope they displayed in their lives,” Galloway said.
J.S. Wolfgang, an elder and one of the preachers at the Lexington Avenue church in Danville, Ky., which the Bentons formerly attended, asked for prayers on behalf of all those touched by the crash.
“This has hit our community very hard and underscores graphically, for those who have been on that same Lexington-to-Atlanta flight numerous times, the biblical concept that ‘there is but a step between me and death,’” Wolfgang said, referencing 1 Samuel 20:4. Wolfgang is a history professor at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
Clark Benton, 48, was a retired Marine of 20 years who worked in information technology. Bobbie Benton worked in a local optometrist’s office.
The Bentons are survived by a son, Richard, of Washington, D.C.; and a daughter, Mary, of Stanford.
Services are pending. Cards of condolences may be sent to the Fort Logan Church of Christ, 304 Lee Drive, Stanford, KY 40484.
Aug. 28, 2006

Filed under: Staff Reports Top Stories

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