Key contributor missing from Correctionville ribbon cutting - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Key contributor missing from Correctionville ribbon cutting

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A benefit is planned for the families of the Dec. 1 plane crash near Correctionville, Iowa. A benefit is planned for the families of the Dec. 1 plane crash near Correctionville, Iowa.

The opening of the grocery store brought much joy to the town of Correctionville, but many residents felt like a key contributor was missing, Gaylen Knaack.

"He was kind of the main guy behind developing the committee and to get this thing started and he recruited a bunch of good help," said Mark McCrea, co-owner of The Mercantile.

McCrea says Knaack had been a big part of the movement to bring the grocery store to town, but he wasn't able to see the ribbon cut Wednesday.

That's because his plane crashed in a field during a foggy December night. Knaack was airlifted by Mercy Medical Center that evening and taken to the St. Elizabeth Burn Center in Lincoln, Neb.

According to the burn center, he's in critical condition. Knaack's friends say he's doing better than he was, and they're hoping that he'll be able to be out by May.

"From his standpoint, it looks like a long, slow process, and I bet he's tired of laying there. But they've been telling the family that he's coming and should be able to recover just fine," said Mike Smith of Correctionville, Iowa.

The Correctionville community has a benefit planned for Knaack, and the families of James Smith and Lee Schroeder, the two men who died in that plane crash.

The event will be held Sunday, Feb. 24 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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