A former Johnson County resident has been killed in a small plane crash in California.
Steven Lefton, 67, a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School and the University of Kansas, was piloting the single-engine plane that crashed shortly after takeoff Monday at the South Lake Tahoe Airport.
Lefton’s wife, Karen, was injured in the crash. The couple lived in Palo Alto, Calif., and were returning home from a weekend family gathering.
Steven Lefton was an executive for a California engineering firm and was an experienced pilot, according to news accounts of the crash.
Linda Schauble, who now lives in California, attended school with Lefton in the Kansas City area and described him as outgoing with “a lot of integrity.”
“They were a wonderful couple,” Schauble said. “It’s such a tragedy.”
Federal officials are now investigating what caused the crash.