Widower of sports reporter who died in plane crash recounts heartbreaking last communication

Steve Ensminger, Jr. lost his wife Carley McCord in a plane crash in Louisiana on Saturday.

McCord was a sports reporter for New Orleans’ NBC affiliate WDSU and traveling on a small plane carrying six people to Atlanta for the Peach Bowl between LSU and Oklahoma.

McCord was also the daughter-in-law of LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, who coached the Tigers in their 63-28 victory shortly after hearing the news of McCord’s death.

McCord’s last message to husband

On Monday, Ensminger opened up to ABC about his final communication with his wife, who was 30 years old when she died. He said the last text he received from her was a message that read “I love you” prior to taking off on the fatal flight and that he didn’t see it in time to respond.

“It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I finally fall asleep,” Ensminger 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.”

5 of 6 on board died in crash

Four others also died on the flight that crashed while attempting an emergency landing at the Lafayette Regional Airport it took off from. The Associated Press reported that wreckage of the plane was found on fire in an open field near a local post office.

Fifty-one-year old Ian Biggs, 59-year-old Robert Crisp II, 51-year-old Gretchen Vincent and 15-year-old Michael Vincent also died in the crash, according to the Lafayette fire department. The lone survivor was 37-year-old Stephen Berzas, who remains in critical condition with burns over 75 percent of his body, according to ABC.

Cause of crash not clear

The cause of the crash remains unclear, and Berzas has a breathing tube and is unable to communicate, according to the report. Since there was no flight recorder on board, National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg told ABC that it could take up to 18 months to determine what caused the crash.

Ensminger told ABC News that he learned of the news from his aunt.

“My aunt Betty called and she told me I need to sit down right now and listen carefully,” he said. “And that’s when my world fell apart.”

McCord’s death prompted an outpouring of sorrow from the Louisiana sports and media community, including from the Saints and Pelicans.

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