West Virginia’s Marshall University pays tribute annually to those who died in major plane crash

by nph | November 18th, 2011

November 18, 2011

Dozens of articles in newspapers as varied as The Washington Post to the Marshall campus paper, The Parthenon, have been posted to remind us of what has been called “the worst air disaster in American sports history.”

Seventy-five football players, coaches, boosters, staff, and crew perished in a plane crash on November 14, 1970. They were remembered this week at a memorial service on Monday morning conducted by Marshall’s Student Government Association at the Huntington campus on the Memorial Student Center plaza, reports the Ironton Tribune.

Returning home to West Virginia on November 14, 1970, from a football game against East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, a DC-9 jetliner carrying the Marshall team clipped some trees near Tri-State Airport and went down.

A then 28-year-old man from Huntington heard about the plane crash and volunteered to help in anyway he could. “It was raining, and it was cold,” he said. “I saw the plane was cut in half. It was still smoking. You could see where the trees had been hit where the plane flew over.”

A freshman member of the 1970 MU football team spoke at the memorial service on Monday. The service is concluded with the placing of the memorial wreath at the Memorial Fountain. Then the fountain is silenced after the laying of the wreath and remains so until next spring.

Read more.

What can be learned from this disastrous aviation accident?

If you or someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help.