MAUMELLE, Ark. — A New Year’s Eve plane crash left two people dead in Kansas, and one of the victims was a current resident of Maumelle and a former volunteer firefighter.
Jon Vannatta, 48, served the city of Maumelle from 2006-2014, according to officials with the fire department.
Vannatta was also a paramedic and most recently worked as a DEA agent.
According to a Tennessee newspaper, Col. Vannatta was also a decorated man of service. In 2018, he graduated from the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania and was also a graduate of the Military Academy at West Point.
We spoke to one of Vannatta’s former colleagues at the Maumelle Fire Department.
“Jon was the Swiss army knife of public safety,” Michael Cossey says.
Cossey is the Division Chief for the Maumelle Fire Department.
He says there has been a lot of turnover since Vannatta volunteered there, but believes he left an impact that will certainly be felt.
“Because he did so much he obviously had lots of friends and associates that he meant a lot to,” Cossey says.
It’s a horrible way to end the year, and we feel, those of us that knew him feel sadness.”
A woman who was also aboard the plane in Kansas also died in the crash, which happened just east of the Johnson County Executive Airport in Overland Park.
The crash remains under investigation.