Preliminary report of crash that killed beloved sidelines reporter released
LAFAYETTE – A preliminary federal report of the plane crash that killed beloved Louisiana sports reporter Carley McCord was lockstep with eyewitness accounts previously discussed after the wreck.
The crash happened in the hours before the Peach Bowl at the end of the year.
The new report, which is not a final analysis of the deadly crash, showed the plane rolled from its peak of about 900 feet in the air after takeoff before it crashed into a Post Office and burned in a debris field.
McCord was among the five killed. All were on the plane. One person on the plane survived and was hospitalized with serious injuries.
“Several witnesses stated that it sounded as if both engines were at a high rpm. Multiple witnesses observed the airplane appear out of the low cloud bank in a steep, left-bank turn. One witness stated that the airplane rolled wings level just before it struck the trees and [power lines]” as it crashed, the preliminary FAA report said.
“The airplane then struck the road and continued across the United States Postal Service (USPS) parking lot,” federal agents wrote.
Two employees at the Post Office suffered minor injuries from flying glass inside of the building. One individual was seriously injured after the airplane struck the car she was parked in. The car rolled several times before it came to rest inverted, the report outlined. The car burst into flames during the crash.
There was no distress call from the airplane.
McCord, 30, was the daughter-in-law of LSU Offensive Coordinator Steve Ensminger. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, she graduated from LSU and was a reporter for New Orleans TV station WDSU-TV. She also worked as a sideline reporter for ESPN and Cox Media, as well as a radio host for Guaranty Media on 100.7 The Tiger and 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge for three years.
The others killed in the crash were from Lafayette: Ian Biggs, Robert Crisp, Gretchen Vincent, and Michael Vincent.
There are no rulings, explanations or theories in the report, Lafayette TV station KATC reported. NTSB officials have said the final report is not expected for at least 12 months.
Because of the type of aircraft – an eight-passenger plane with propellers on the wings – it did not have a so-called “black box” cockpit voice recorder.
Investigators previously told KATC, it "complicates the job tremendously” to not have a recording device.
The plane was headed to Atlanta for the Peach Bowl featuring LSU when it crashed on Saturday, Dec. 28.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz