The husband of a Louisiana sports reporter who was killed in a small airplane crash over the weekend says he has continued to text ‘I love you too’ to her phone after missing her final call and text to him, minutes before she plunged to her death.
Just before her doomed plane took off from Lafayette Regional Airport on Saturday, 30-year-old Carley McCord texted her husband Steven Ensminger Jr: ‘I love you.’
Ensminger didn’t receive the message until it was too late to respond because he’d forgotten his cell-phone when he went to work that morning.
‘It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I finally fall asleep,’ he told ABC News.
‘Every once in a while throughout the day, I find myself grabbing my phone and sending a text to her phone replying, “I love you too.”
‘Now I don’t know if that’s crazy of me or not, but I’m praying she gets my message. And I wish there was a way she could let me know she has.’
Louisiana sports reporter Carley McCord, 30, was killed in a plane crash over the weekend. Her husband, Steven Ensminger Jr (above together) says he has continued to text ‘I love you too’ to McCord’s phone after missing her final call and text to him, minutes before she died
The twin-engine aircraft bound for Atlanta came down near a post office and Walmart, hitting a car, flipping it over and then slamming into a tree around 9.22am Saturday
Ensminger had to be rushed to the hospital after he learned of his wife’s death from his aunt.
‘It is by far the most pain, angst and terror and just darkest time of my life. And I honestly don’t know how long it will last because I still don’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it,’ he told Sports Illustrated.
‘I was in and out of a nightmare, not being able to tell what was real and what wasn’t.
‘I can remember laying in the hospital bed repeating myself saying it wasn’t real and then one of the hardest things I’m dealing with is that I missed her text and I missed her call.’
Investigators, meanwhile, released early findings from the crash on Sunday that suggested the small aircraft had only climbed 900 feet after taking off Saturday from an airport in Lafayette, Louisiana.
The twin-engine aircraft bound for Atlanta came down near a post office and Walmart, hitting a car, flipping it over and then slamming into a tree around 9.22am.
No distress call was ever made, authorities said.
McCord, who was on her way to the Rose Bowl, where Louisiana State University was playing the University of Oklahoma, was among the dead along with pilot Ian Biggs, 51, Robert Crisp II, 59, Gretchen Vincent, 51, and her son Michael ‘Walker’ Vincent, 15.
The 30-year-old reporter worked for WDSU television in New Orleans.
Stephen Wade Berzas, 37, who was also on board, survived and was hospitalized. His condition was critical.
McCord’s husband said he was so distraught when he got the news that he had to be sedated
The plane had taken off from runway 22L, began its climb and then started a left, descending turn, said Bruce Landsberg, vice-chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, reports the Lafayette Daily Advertiser.
Air Traffic Control had issued a low-altitude warning when the plane reached 700 feet.
Two witnesses told NTSB investigators the plane was in a steep turn, it rolled at about wing’s level before it hit the trees, power lines and a vehicle.
The plane then continued, coming down in a post office parking lot and coming to rest in a field.
No flight data recorder was on the eight-seat Piper Cheyenne, which investigators said was not unusual for a small aircraft.
It will likely take more than a year to determine the cause of the crash, said investigators.
McCord had been on her way to the Rose Bowl, where Louisiana State University was playing the University of Oklahoma.
Her father-in-law, also Steven, is the offensive coordinator for the school’s football team. He was pictured wiping away tears before the game on Saturday.
McCord had taken the plane on her way to the Rose Bowl, where Louisiana State University was playing the University of Oklahoma. Her father-in-law, Steven Ensminger (right), is the offensive coordinator for the school’s football team
The elder Ensminger was seen wiping away tears before the start of Saturday’s game