Son remembers father, local doctor lost in plane crash

Courtesy: Luanne Leeds

TOPEKA, Kan (KSNT)  –  The Topeka community has lost a long-time physician. Dr. William Leeds, a pulmonary specialist in Topeka, died in a plane crash near Billiard Airport Monday night.

“It’s been pretty shocking. I think I’m still kind of like in the shock process It still really hasn’t registered,” said Alex Leeds.

Alex said his father was practicing on the plane to earn a twin-engine rating when he crashed. He said aviation was one of his father’s passions and he used it to help people.

“He actually used his pilots license to be able to fly out to rural clinics in Kansas that didn’t have specialty pulmonary medicine and he’d provide that service,” said Alex.

Alex is studying to become a surgeon himself. He said he became inspired by watching his father in action. Dr. Leeds worked at St. Francis Hospital and Pulmonary and Sleep Associates in Topeka.

“I remember following him into the hospital and there would be days where he’d walk in on to the floor and people would just breath a sigh of relief that he was there,” said Alex.

Alex said that total strangers have reached out to him and his family to offer their love and support. According to Alex, funeral arrangements have been set for this Friday at Temple Beth Sholom.

 

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