The husband of Carley McCord, a Louisiana sports reporter, says that one of the “hardest things” coping with her death in a fiery plane crash was that he missed her final phone call to him.
Steven Ensminger Jr. said his 30-year-old wife tried to call him before she was killed Saturday when the plane to the Peach Bowl in Georgia crashed shortly after takeoff from Lafayette, Louisiana.
“I don’t have my phone and she sends me a message saying she loved me,” Ensminger Jr. told Sports Illustrated.
Ensminger Jr. — whose father is the LSU Tigers’ offensive coach — had planned to drive to the Peach Bowl with his wife of nearly two years, but was unable to take off from work due to a company policy that prevented vacations after Dec. 22.
He was at his job at a nitrogen facility when he missed a phone call and text message from McCord, who was one of five passengers killed on the small aircraft, according to the report.
Ensminger Jr. was so rattled by the news of his wife’s death that he was rushed to the hospital, where he was given sedatives, Sports Illustrated reported.
“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,” he said. “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.”
McCord was remembered by colleagues as an “amazing talent” Saturday in the wake of her death.
“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.”