‘I don’t want to believe it’ | Reporter killed in La. plane crash tried to call husband

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Five people died after a small plane crashed Saturday in Lafayette, Louisiana.

The husband of a sports reporter killed in Saturday’s small plane crash said his wife texted and called him before the plane went down.

Carley McCord, the daughter-in-law of LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, was among the victims of the Lafayette, Louisiana, crash. The plane was en route to Atlanta, where LSU was preparing to play Oklahoma in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Four other people were killed, and another was seriously injured.

Explore»MORE: LSU offensive coordinator’s relative among La. plane crash victims

"I don't have my phone and she sends me a message saying she loved me," McCord's husband, Steven Ensminger Jr., told Sports Illustrated. "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."

»MORE: Friends, colleagues mourn sports reporter who died in Peach Bowl-bound flight

Despite the tragedy, the elder Ensminger, who coached for the Georgia Bulldogs in the early 1990s, was in the press box as the No. 1 Tigers routed the No. 4 Sooners 63-28 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Despite the lopsided score, the game was seen by more than 17 million viewers on ESPN.

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Carley McCord, the daughter-in law of LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, was among the victims of a plane crash Saturday in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Carley McCord, the daughter-in law of LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, was among the victims of a plane crash Saturday in Lafayette, Louisiana.

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Carley McCord, the daughter-in law of LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, was among the victims of a plane crash Saturday in Lafayette, Louisiana.

“I had talked to my mom crying and couldn’t get out words and same with my cousin who was my best man in our wedding,” Steven said. “The one voice that got on the phone with me that was clear and strong and supportive and confident while I was laying in that bed was my dad right before he walked out for warm-ups.

“I could barely speak. I couldn’t hold myself together and he said, ‘Son, you will get through this, it’s what we do. We face the darkest times in our lives and it’s what we do, we get through it. And I will take care of you and I’ll be there for you to keep you strong. You’re my one and only son, and my namesake, and I love you and I can promise you we will get through this.’”

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Carley McCord, a sports reporter at a Louisiana TV station and the daughter-in-law of LSU’s offensive coordinator, was among the victims who died in a Peach Bowl-bound plane crash Saturday. (Headshot courtesy of WDSU)

Ian Biggs was flying the plane, which took off from Lafayette Regional Airport at 9:20 a.m. The aircraft reportedly was headed to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

Besides McCord, 30, and Biggs, 51, the other victims are Robert Vaughn Crisp II, 59; Gretchen D. Vincent, 51; and Michael Walker Vincent, 15. The injured plane passenger, who was in critical condition, was identified as Stephen Wade Berzas, 37, according to the Lafayette Fire Department.

The plane reportedly crashed in a wooded area behind a Walmart Supercenter.

LSU and Clemson will face off in the national championship game Jan. 13 (8 p.m., ESPN) in New Orleans.