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Five dead, one injured in small plane crash in Louisiana

By
Clyde Hughes and Allen Cone
Five people died and one survived a small passenger plane that crashed in Lafayette, La., on Saturday morning while trying to make an emergency landing. Photo courtesy Arcadia Companies
Five people died and one survived a small passenger plane that crashed in Lafayette, La., on Saturday morning while trying to make an emergency landing. Photo courtesy Arcadia Companies

Dec. 28 (UPI) -- One person survived a small passenger plane crash in Lafayette, La., on Saturday morning while trying to make an emergency landing, killing five people and injuring three others on the ground.

The passengers were planning to watch Louisiana State play Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl on Saturday in Atlanta, WAFB-TV reported.

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The daughter-in law of LSU Offensive Coordinator Steve Ensminger died in the crash. Carley McCord, 30, was a sports reporter with WDSU-TV in New Orleans as well as a sideline reporter for Cox Sports Television and ESPN, and as a game host for the New Orleans Pelicans and Saints, according to 247sports.com.

Her husband, Steve Ensminger Jr., didn't make the trip because he had to work as a chemical operator at a nitrogen facility on the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Sports Illustrated reported.

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His father coached in the game, which began at 4 p.m.

Also killed were the plane's pilot, Ian Biggs, 51; Robert Vaughn Crisp II, 59: Gretchen Vincent, 51; and Michael Walker Vincent, 15. Stephen Wade Berzas, 37, was taken to a hospital where he is listed in critical condition. '

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The Piper Fixed Wing Multi-Engine airplane crashed in the parking lot of a post office, hit a car and slid into a field about 9 a.m. after departing from Lafayette Regional Airport 2.3 miles away. The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was registered to Cheyenne Partners LLC out of Lafayette, which is 135 miles west of New Orleans.

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Authorities said the plane, which seats eight, appeared to hit a power line on its way down before the crash. The airplane was headed for DeKalb-Peachtree Airport near Atlanta.

The impact of the plane crash blew out the windows in the post office. The three people injured on the ground were treated at the scene before transported to a local hospital.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards shared his condolences on the tragedy on social media.

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"Heartbreaking news out of Lafayette today," Edwards said. "Please join @FirstLadyOfLA and I in praying for the families and friends of everyone affected by this terrible tragedy."

Acadian Companies, which provides private ambulance service, transported two patients to a local hospital.

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