La. sports reporter among 5 killed in Lafayette plane crash

Updated: Dec. 30, 2019 at 3:48 AM CST
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LAFAYETTE, La. (WAFB) - Five people are dead after an eight-passenger plane crashed in Lafayette on Saturday, Dec. 28, according to officials. The passengers were heading to Atlanta to attend the College Football Playoff Semifinal at Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta.

Six people were inside the Piper Fixed Wing Multi-Engine aircraft before it crashed in an open field at around 9 a.m. near the intersection of Feu Follet Road and Verot School Road.

Louisiana sports reporter Carley McCord was among those who died in the crash on the way to the college football game. Her husband, Steven Ensminger Jr., confirmed the death to The Associated Press on Saturday. She was a graduate of St. Michael High School in Baton Rouge, Northwestern State, and LSU.

The NSU alumni organization set up a scholarship fund in her honor. The scholarship will go to women pursuing a career in sports journalism.

The Lafayette Fire Department released the identities of the victims on Saturday afternoon:

  • Ian E. Biggs, the plane’s pilot, age 51
  • Robert Vaughn Crisp II, age 59
  • Carley Ann McCord, age 30
  • Gretchen D. Vincent, age 51
  • Michael Walker Vincent, age 15
Carley McCord
Carley McCord(.)

Public Information Officer Alton Trahan with the Lafayette Fire Department said there was a fire involving the aircraft and a vehicle, which was quickly extinguished.

An aircraft passenger, identified as 37-year-old Stephen Wade Berzas, and a person on the ground at the post office were sent to the hospital.

One woman, identified as Danielle Britt was at the post office when a plane hit her car, causing it to flip and burst into flames. She’s badly burned at the hospital.

There were three other individuals injured who were not passengers. Officials have not confirmed the extent of their injuries.

Witnesses told local media the small aircraft had hit a power line while trying to make an emergency landing. The plane, which was en route to Atlanta, had taken off from the Lafayette airport before it crashed a mile west of the airport.

The flight plane showed the aircraft was headed to Dekalb-Peachtree Airport in Chamblee, Georgia. The plane’s last flight was from Houston to Lafayette on December 18, 2019.

“We’re going to let the feds take over from there, but the plane was taking off from the airport and crashed in this particular area,” Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a tweet it is investigating the crash.

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