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Fatal plane crashes the touched the sports world

Thurman Munson

The Yankees catcher and captain was killed when he crashed his private plane near his home in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 2, 1979. At the time of his death, Munson was a seven-time All-Star, 32 years old and still very much in his prime.

Cory Lidle

Lidle was 34 and a veteran of seven major-league teams when his small plane crashed into an apartment building in New York's Upper East Side on Oct. 11, 2006, briefly causing some New Yorkers to think the city was under another terrorist attack. Lidle, who pitched for the Rays in 1999 and 2000, was a pitcher for the Yankees at the time of his death.

Payne Stewart

The two-time U.S. Open and 1989 PGA Championship winner died in an eerie plane crash on Oct. 25, 1999. Flying in a private jet from Orlando to Dallas, the plane apparently lost cabin pressure, killing all six on board. The plane continued on autopilot for four hours until it ran out of gas and crashed in South Dakota. Stewart was 42.

Davey Allison

The eldest child of NASCAR's Bobby Allison, Davey, the winner of the 1992 Daytona 500, was killed in a helicopter crash on the infield at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on July 13, 1993. He was 32.

Evansville basketball

On Dec. 13, 1977, a chartered DC-3 carrying the University of Evansville men's basketball team crashed on its way to a game against Middle Tennessee State. The crash killed 29 people, including 14 players and the coaching staff. Player David Furr was not with the team because of an ankle injury, but in a cruel twist of fate, he was killed two weeks later in a car accident.

Roberto Clemente

On New Year's Eve, 1972, the Pirates rightfielder and baseball great was aboard a plane departing San Juan, Puerto Rico, for Nicaragua to aid victims of a devastating earthquake. Clemente, who had collected his 3,000th hit three months earlier, died when the plane crashed somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. He was 38.

Uruguayan rugby

This is maybe the most famous plane crash involving a sports team. Members of a Uruguayan rugby team and some of their friends and family were among the 29 killed when their charter plane crashed into the Andes in Chile on Oct. 13, 1972. Sixteen people survived the crash and an ensuing avalanche. They went two months before being rescued, resorting to cannibalism to stay alive. Their story has been told in several books, documentaries and feature films.

Marshall football team

On Nov. 14, 1970, a DC-9 flying from Kinston, N.C., to West Virginia crashed in Huntington while coming in for a landing, killing all 75 on board, including 37 members of the Marshall football team, making it the worst sports-related plane crash in American history. Marshall was returning home from a game against East Carolina. The crash and the rebuilding of the football program were the basis of the 2006 film We Are Marshall.

U.S. figure skating team

On Feb. 16, 1961, 18 members of the team were killed in a crash in Belgium that claimed 73 lives. The team, which included coach and nine-time U.S. champion Maribel Vinson-Owen, was on its way to compete in the 1961 world championships in Czechoslovakia.

tom jones' two cents

A plane carrying a team in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League crashed Wednesday, killing at least 43, including former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei and Brad McCrimmon. Here's a look at other plane crashes that touched the sports world.

Rant of the day

Many Notre Dame officials and fans are riled up over the sideline behavior and R-rated language of football coach Brian Kelly. But it seems to me that former coach Lou Holtz used a few curse words in his day, too, and never took heat for it. Maybe tolerance for bad words depends on the coach's winning percentage.

Fatal plane crashes the touched the sports world 09/07/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 10:51pm]
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