UPDATE: Former Wisconsin-Stout standout Amanda Geissler killed i - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Former Wisconsin-Stout standout Amanda Geissler killed in Costa Rica crash

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© Credit: Geissler family © Credit: Geissler family

(KARE, Associated Press) -- Coaches and teammates are mourning the death of former Wisconsin-Stout basketball standout and Thorp native Amanda Geissler.

The California-based adventure travel company Backroads has confirmed that Geissler was one of 10 Americans killed in a charter plane crash Sunday in Costa Rica. Two crew members also died.

Geissler was a guide for Backroads. She was a point guard at Wisconsin-Stout from 2003-2007. Head coach Mark Thomas tells KSTP-TV that Geissler is remembered for never being afraid of anything and never accepting failure.

Former assistant coach Erin Sullivan says Geissler wanted to travel and live a life filled with adventure.

Thomas said a number of Geissler's former teammates were gathering Monday to remember her.

The other U.S. citizens who died in the plane crash were part of a tour organized by Backroads.

Geissler's family has released the following statement:

Backroads provided the following statement to KBJR 6's NBC affiliate KARE 11:

On Sunday afternoon, December 31, we experienced an unimaginable tragedy when a Nature Air flight traveling from Punta Islita to San Jose, Costa Rica, crashed in the Guanacaste Mountains. Officials in Costa Rica have confirmed that there are no survivors. Aboard the flight were nine Backroads guests, a Backroads Trip Leader and two flight crew members. A second Nature Air flight carrying Backroads guests and another Trip Leader arrived safely in San Jose.

Backroads has been running active travel adventures in Costa Rica for more than 25 years. We are extremely heartbroken over this horrific loss of life and are working with the local authorities to understand the cause of the crash. We have our entire Costa Rica team on the ground to assist in this tragedy, in addition to a member of our Executive team, who is en route to Costa Rica.

In the midst of this heartbreaking news, our thoughts and prayers are with the families impacted by this tragedy. We will release more details as officials confirm them.


Reports say that a Wisconsin native is among the 12 people who died when a small plane filled with tourists crashed in Costa Rica Sunday.

Among the names on the list of crash victims released by Reuters News Service is Amanda Geissler, and while the list does not include her hometown, a number of posts on social media say Geissler grew up in Thorp, Wisconsin and attended University of Wisconsin Stout.

The Costa Rica Public Safety Ministry posted photographs and video of the crash site showing burning wreckage of the plane in a wooded area of Guanacaste, northwest Costa Rica.

At a news conference, Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica Civil Aviation, said the Nature Air charter flight took off just after noon Sunday from Punta Islita and was headed for the capital of San Jose when it crashed.

Cubillo said the cause was under investigation.

He identified the pilot as Juan Manuel Retana and described him as very experienced. Former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla said via Twitter that Retana was her cousin.

Here is a list of the 10 passengers that were listed on the flight plan:

  • Amanda Geissler
  • Thibault Astruc
  • Charles Palmer
  • Bruce Steinberg
  • Irene Steinberg
  • Matthew Steinberg
  • William Steinberg
  • Zachary Steinberg
  • Leslie Weiss
  • Sherry Wuu
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