LAFAYETTE — UPDATE: The Associated Press is reporting that Louisiana sports reporter Carley McCord has died in a plane crash on the way to a college football playoff game in Louisiana. Her husband, Steven Ensminger Jr., confirmed the death to The Associated Press on Saturday. Ensminger’s father is the offensive coordinator for Louisiana State University’s football team. The team is to play Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon.
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Five fatalities have been confirmed and one person has survived a plane crash in Lafayette.
The crash happened in the 9:00 am hour near the intersection of Feu Follet and Verot School Road. Authorities say there was a small fire involving the plane and one vehicle was fully engulfed. Both fires were quickly extinguished and a search and rescue was conducted.
First responders says that six people were on board that plane, which is a Piper Fixed Wing Multi-Engine aircraft. Only one survived that crash. Three people on the ground were treated from injuries and transported to a local hospital.
Two individuals who were in the post office were transported to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation, according to Chief Benoit. He added that they seem to be okay.
The owner of a Lafayette jewelry store has confirmed that an employee was one of the victims on the ground that was injured following the plane crash. That post is below.
Lafayette General Medical Center says that one patient was received at the facility’s trauma center at 9:58 a.m. That patient was listed in critical condition and was confirmed to be a bystander who was injured in a nearby parking lot.
The patient was still listed in critical condition and was transferred to a facility in New Orleans.
Details on the reason for the crash have not been released but witnesses say that the plane, which is a small 8 passenger plane, hit a power line while trying to make an emergency landing.
“When that airplane tilted, it hit that post first then hit that suburban and jeep…then it just blew up,” a witness told KATC.
The Lafayette Fire Department’s Chief Robert Beniot confirmed that the plane took off from the Lafayette airport en route to Atlanta and crashed in the area.
A resident in the area says that the weather may have been a factor in the crash.
“He was crashing, he was going down. I think he got inverted in the fog and couldn’t see,” nearby resident Terry Lavergne said ” Once he came out of the fog he wasn’t high at all. I think he tried to throttle up and by the time he throttled up, he was facing the ground. He hit hard.”
The FAA says the plane is a Piper Fixed Wing Multi-Engine aircraft. The registered owner of the plane is Cheyenne Partners LLC based out of Lafayette.
Both the FAA and NTSB investigators are on their way to the accident site and will be taking over the scene to conduct a full investigation.
Chief Benoit said NTSB investigators should be arriving in Lafayette around 9 p.m. tonight to take over the investigation. More information on the crash is expected to be released late Sunday night or Monday.
The impact of the crash blew out the windows of the US Post Office off of Verot School Road. The Walmart near the scene was evacuated and closed. 200 people in the area were without power, but that has since been restored.
Two post office employees were transported to a local hospital for evaluation. The status of their injuries is unknown.
All businesses and neighborhoods in the area are without power at this time.
Lafayette Fire Department, Lafayette Police Department, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Regional Airport Fire Department, Louisiana State Police, Acadian Ambulance and the Red Cross are all on scene and managing the site.