Au­thor­i­ties: Small plane crashes in Louisiana, killing 5 peo­ple on board

One of the vic­tims was Car­ley McCord, sports re­porter and daugh­ter-in-law of LSU football coach

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - NATION+WORLD - By Janelle Co­gan and Sudhin Thanawala

ATLANTA » A small plane en route to a col­lege football play­off game crashed into the park­ing lot of a post of­fice in Louisiana shortly af­ter take­off Satur­day, killing the daugh­ter-in-law of one of the team’s coaches and four other peo­ple on board.

The two-en­gine Piper Cheyenne crashed in the city of Lafayette about a mile from the re­gional air­port where the flight be­gan, Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion spokesman Tony Moli­naro said.

Six peo­ple were on board, five of whom were killed, said Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit. The sixth per­son was be­ing treated at an area hos­pi­tal along with two peo­ple who were in the post of­fice, he said. Steven Ens­minger Jr., son of the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor for the Louisiana State Univer­sity football team, said his wife, Car­ley McCord, was on board the flight and died when it crashed. He said the plane was en route to the Peach Bowl play­off game in Atlanta be­tween LSU and Oklahoma.

Ens­minger said he was un­able to go to the game and was at work when the crash hap­pened. He said his fa­ther, Steven Ens­minger, called him just be­fore the el­der Ens­minger got to the sta­dium. The coach had tears in his eyes when he ap­peared on the field at the start of the game Satur­day after­noon. “I just don’t feel like this is real,” Ens­minger Jr. told the AP in an In­sta­gram mes­sage. “I’m pray­ing it’s not real.”

Video and pho­tos showed a trail of scorched and burn­ing grass around the crash site in the city of Lafayette. A black­ened car sat in the post of­fice park­ing lot, which was car­peted with scat­tered tree limbs.

Four peo­ple were brought to the hos­pi­tal: one from the plane, one on the ground and two post of­fice em­ploy­ees who were brought in for eval­u­a­tion, said Lafayette Fire De­part­ment spokesman Al­ton Tra­han.

The air­craft was an eight-pas­sen­ger plane, Benoit said.

The plane went down in a part of the city with a scat­ter­ing of banks, fast-food chains and other busi­nesses.

Marty Brady, 22, said the lights went out at his apart­ment a cou­ple of hun­dred yards or so away from the crash site as he was pre­par­ing to make cof­fee.

He said he ran out and saw black smoke and flames from the post of­fice park­ing lot and downed power lines.

“There were some peo­ple scream­ing and some­body yelled that it was a plane,” he said.

Brady said the plane clipped a power line over the gate to his apart­ment com­plex.

“If it had been a lit­tle lower, it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Kevin Jack­son told KLFY-TV he heard a “mas­sive ex­plo­sion” and saw a “big old ball of flame” when the plane crashed. He and other eye­wit­nesses told the TV station that the plane hit a car as it fell, and that some­one could be heard scream­ing in­side the ve­hi­cle.

McCord was a Ba­ton Rouge na­tive and sports re­porter for WDSU-TV in New Orleans, ac­cord­ing to her web­site. She also ap­peared as a side­line re­porter for ESPN. McCord pre­vi­ously worked in tele­vi­sion in Cleve­land, and she was a two-time run­ner-up in the Miss Louisiana pageant.

“We are dev­as­tated by the loss of such an amaz­ing ta­lent and val­ued mem­ber of our WDSU fam­ily,” said WDSU Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager Joel Vil­me­nay. “Car­ley’s pas­sion for sports jour­nal­ism and her deep knowl­edge of Louisiana sports, from high school to the pro­fes­sional ranks, made her an ex­cep­tional jour­nal­ist.”

McCord is the sec­ond jour­nal­ist work­ing in the New Orleans area to die in a plane crash this year. On Aug. 16, WVUE news an­chor Nancy Parker was do­ing a story in New Orleans about stunt pi­lot Franklin Au­gus­tus when the two crashed. Both Parker and Au­gus­tus died.

Lafayette is the fourth-largest city in Louisiana, with a pop­u­la­tion of about 130,000, ac­cord­ing to the 2018 cen­sus. It is lo­cated about 135 miles west of New Orleans.


This photo pro­vided by AcadianNew­s shows first re­spon­ders looking over the site of a plane crash near Feu Fol­let Road and Verot School Road in Lafayette, La., on Satur­day. Five peo­ple aboard the plane reportedly were killed.


In this Dec. 14 photo, Aca­di­ana head coach Matt McCul­lough, left, speaks with Car­ley McCord, cen­ter, fol­low­ing a win over the Destre­han in the state Di­vi­sion 5A cham­pi­onship football game in Lafayette, La. One of the vic­tims in a deadly Louisiana plane crash was McCord, a sports re­porter and daugh­ter-in-law of a Louisiana State Univer­sity football coach.

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