Sports reporter and daughter-in-law of LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, Carley McCord, tragically passed away in a plane crash in Louisiana on Saturday while on her way to the Peach Bowl. She, among five others, lost their lives that day while on their way to the LSU game. The young reporter was just 30 years old at the time of her passing and worked for an NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans covering teams as an in-game host for the New Orleans Pelicans and Saints. Today, the Carolina Panthers paid a tribute to McCord during their game against the Saints.
The News Director of WDSU, Akili Franklin, put out a statement following her passing.
"Words cannot express the tremendous amount of sorrow our entire staff holds for Carley and her family. She was an extraordinary woman and a talented reporter. We offer our deepest condolences to her family and friends," the statement read.
A moment of silence ahead of tonight’s game for the loss of a member of the Pelicans family - Carley McCord.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Carley’s family and friends. pic.twitter.com/3XPi8lC2H3— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 29, 2019
Adding, "She will be severely missed."
Several fans sent their condolences to McCord and her family as well.
So sorry! Our prayers are for you and the family! We pray to God for— Terry M. Pope, HOF (@TerryMPope) December 29, 2019
peace and comfort!
So sad, she will be missed. Prayers for her family.— Debbieleboeuf (@Debbieleboeuf) December 29, 2019
Someone else responded saying, "Heart Breaking. Rest In Peace."
Another fan acknowledged the Panthers organization for recognizing her, posting "Respect to the Panthers for doing this Rip."
The Pelicans also held a moment of silence for McCord.
Along with Franklin's statement, the company's president and general manager, Joe Vilmenay, also shared a few words.
"We are devastated by the loss of such an amazing talent and valued member of our WDSU family. 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."
According to Yahoo Sports, the plane that she and five others were on took off from the Lafayette Regional Airport en route to Atlanta but had to attempt an emergency landing. According to the Associated Press, firefighters responded to the reports of a plan crash near the intersection of Verot School Road and Feu Follet. They arrived to find local wreckage from the eight-passenger plane in a field near the Post Office. The first responders quickly extinguished two fires and then conducted a search and rescue. Two individuals were transported to the local hospital.