Former Mosinee football star escapes plane crash - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Former Mosinee football star escapes plane crash


A former Mosinee football star and Green Bay Packers player had a narrow escape from a deadly plane crash.

Kole Heckendorf, 27, was in Sauk Rapids, Minn. when a plane crashed into his brother-in-law's home Friday night.

Heckendorf says he still can't believe his luck.

"Someone was looking out for me," he said.

He says it all happened so fast.

"All of a sudden, it was like a bomb went off," said Heckendorf. "I didn't know what happened I kind of got thrown back on the bed. I look outside the door and the whole hallway is up in flames already."

That's when his survival instincts took over.

"I didn't even think," he said. "I just reacted. I grabbed the blanket and broke the window with my left forearm and I jumped out."

The former Mosinee football standout is best known for his days as a Green Bay Packer. He was picked up as a free agent in 2009.

While now he lives in Minnesota, he still has ties back home. Heckendorf's parents live in Mosinee. After the crash, they went to check on their son.

"When you're right there and you see, it's amazing," said Wendy Heckendorf, his mother. "It's a miracle."

Authorities say the plane's pilot and passenger died in the crash. Investigators say they don't know what caused the plane to go down.

"I said to Kole, you guys are working on living arrangements, I said think of the two people who were in the plane," said Bart Heckendorf, his father. "Their families are dealing with funeral arrangements. We're just so fortunate."

They say knowing their son is safe is something they'll never take for granted.

"They thought there's no way anyone could have survived that explosion," said Bart Heckendorf. "But he did and we're really happy about that."

Kole Heckendorf says he and his wife were staying at his brother-in-law's while they prepared to move into their new home.

He says they still plan to move in Friday.

As for the rest of the family, he says they're doing well.

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