RIP Carley McCord — Sports Reporter Dead At 30 After Plane Crash

The news of this tragedy is so hard to hear.

How Did Carley McCord Die? New Details On Sports Reporter Killed In Plane Crash Instagram

Over the weekend, a heartbreaking tragedy resulted in the deaths of five people, including a beloved local sports reporter. 

On Saturday, Carley McCord was killed while traveling to Atlanta from New Orleans to watch a football game with friends. She was 30, and worked for Louisiana NBC affiliate WDSU. 

But how did Carley McCord die? Here are all the details of the tragic accident that took her life and the lives of four others. 


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1. How did Carley McCord die? She died in a private plane crash. 

A plane McCord was riding in on Saturday morning crashed after taking off in Louisiana. At the time, she was en route to Atlanta to watch the Peach Bowl with friends. Although it seems the National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the crash, at this time, they’re still trying to figure out the exact cause of the crash.


NTSB investigators said that the twin-engine plane crashed approximately a minute after taking off and was crushed and in flames after the crash. No distress calls were made. Witnesses said that the plane hit a pole and two parked cars before crashing into a field.

2. There were four other victims of the crash.

Aside from McCord, four other people died: the plane’s pilot, Ian E. Biggs, as well as three other passengers, including a 15-year-old boy. Another passenger was injured and has been hospitalized. On the ground, the crash resulted in three bystanders being injured as well. 

3. McCord started her career in radio before pivoting to television full time.

After graduating from Northwestern State University and Louisiana State University, McCord got her start working for a morning show on CBS Radio Cleveland. For the next few years, she continued to work in radio before deciding to go for sports television, working as a freelance sideline and sports reporter, including for WDSU. 

“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. As we reflect on her impressive body of work, we offer our deepest condolences to her family.”


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4. She frequently shared pieces of her life and her career online. 



A post shared by Carley McCord (@carleymccord) on Dec 25, 2019 at 1:12pm PST

As far as McCord’s Instagram goes, it seems she was incredibly passionate about her job, frequently sharing photos of her working on the sidelines at sporting events. She also posted photos from her personal life, including ones with her husband, friends, and family, as well as her travels. Her final post was from last week, on the court at a basketball game she was reporting from. 


5. McCord’s husband has shared her final message to him before her death. 

McCord’s husband, Steven Ensminger Jr., — whose father is LSU Tigers offensive coordinator — said that he missed a text and a call from his wife the morning of the crash because he was at work without his phone. After hearing of McCord’s death, he was hospitalized and on sedatives because of his reaction to the news.

“I don’t have my phone and she sends me a message saying she loved me,” he said. “I was in and out of a nightmare, not being able to tell what was real and what wasn’t. 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."

“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,” he added. 

6. There’s already a scholarship set up in McCord’s name.

Northwestern State University has established a scholarship in memory of McCord, and her family is asking that donations be made to the fund in lieu of flowers, which McCord “hated.” 


"She would have loved this scholarship because it helps women get a big break, you know?" her older sister, Kaleigh McCord-Pederson, said. "And then once you get the break, you've got to work for it every day. And she did. I just want people to know that my sister loved what she did."

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.