A former Manning resident and Killdeer graduate was one of three people to perish Nov. 18 in a plane crash northwest of Mandan.
Bonnie Kay Cook, 63, was a neonatal intensive care unit nurse at CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck on a mission to assist in transporting a neonatal patient from Williston.
In addition to Cook, the crash claimed the lives of a pilot and a paramedic, 48-year old Todd Lasky and 47-year old Chris Iverson.
She grew up on the Biffert family farm near Manning and graduated from Killdeer in 1973. She was the eldest of 15 children.
She married, moved to Bismarck, got a degree in nursing and started working at St. Alexius in the NCIU.
She later joined the NCIU transport team and conducted S.T.A.B.L.E. ( a neonatal education program) classes onsite and online with rural nurses. She had been part of the hospital’s NCIU team for almost three decades.
The twin-engine 1982 Cessna 441 turboprop crash occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m.
According to the extent of the debris field, authorities have said the plane came apart in mid-air.
The crash is still under investigation by the NTSB and the FAA.
In a public statement, Cook’s daughter, Pam, said that her mother was “touching lives everywhere.”
A NCIU supervisor said Cook was a “fantastic motivator. She always had great ideas and suggestions when you were stuck on a problem.”
There was a joint celebration Monday at the Bismarck Event Center.
In a joint statement, Kurt Schley, CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck President, and Dan Schaefer, Bismarck Air Medical and Metro Area Ambulance Operations Chief, stated, “It is a sad day here for both of our organizations. We are grieving for the family members of those who were on board.”