- Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

HILLSBORO, Kan. (AP) - A former six-term Kansas House member died Friday following an ultralight plane crash near his hometown, authorities said.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported that 69-year-old Donald Dahl was flying at low altitude at 1:45 p.m. Friday when he ran into a tree branch 2 miles south of Hillsboro. The plane fell to the ground near a pond and flipped upside down into the water. Dahl later died at a local hospital.

The retired U.S. Navy officer served in the House as a Republican from 1997 through 2008, including the last two years as speaker pro tem, the No. 3 position in the chamber. He also was chairman of the House Commerce and Labor Committee for four years and was a member of the state’s Supreme Court Nominating Commission.

Gov. Sam Brownback appointed Dahl in December to the nine-member nominating commission, which screens applications for Supreme Court vacancies, interviews the finalists and picks three finalists for the governor to consider.

Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who served with Dahl in the House, issued a statement offering their condolences to Dahl’s friends and family.

“He had a proud legacy of public service,” Brownback said.

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