Otis Redding Plane Crash December 10, 1967 – Madison, WI
Seven musicians and a pilot were in Redding's twin-engine Beechcraft, which he'd recently
purchased from singer James Brown. Redding was 26, Married with 3 children.
The only survivor was trumpet player Ben Cauley, who was 20 at the time. Cauley was jolted
awake as the plane crashed into Lake Monona about a half mile out from the 4600 block of
Tonyawatha Trail in Monona. Cauley, who couldn’t swim, grabbed a seat cushion and held on
tight. The crash could be heard across the lakefront. The pilot had given no indication of
trouble when he was cleared for landing; the cause of the crash was never determined.