Carley McCord, New Orleans-Based Sports Reporter, Dies in Plane Crash at 30

Sideline reporter was on her way to the Peach Bowl when the plane went down shortly after takeoff

Carley McCord obit

New Orleans-based sports reporter Carley McCord was among the five people killed on Saturday when a small plane crashed into the parking lot of a post office in Lafayette, Louisiana, the Associated Press reported.

McCord — who covered the New Orleans Pelicans and the New Orleans Saints and freelanced as a sideline reporter for a number of networks, including ESPN and WDSU — was on her way to Atlanta for the Peach Bowl game between Louisiana State University and University of Oklahoma when the plane went down shortly after takeoff.

KATC TV3 reported that the Lafayette Fire Department identified McCord as a victim, and her husband, Steven Ensminger Jr. confirmed her death to the AP.

McCord’s father-in-law, Steve Ensminger, is the offensive coordinator for LSU. Before the start of Saturday’s game, he took the field in tears with members of the team and watched them warm-up.

“We are devastated by the loss of such an amazing talent and valued member of our WDSU family,” WDSU president and general manager Joel Vilmenay said in a statement. “Carley’s passion for sports journalism and her deep knowledge of Louisiana sports, from high school to the professional ranks, made her an exceptional journalist. As we reflect on her impressive body of work, we offer our deepest condolences to her family.”

Kevin Jackson witnessed the crash and told KLFY-TV he heard a “massive explosion” and saw a “big old ball of flame” when the plane crashed.