Remembering the tragic plane crash that killed Lamar University track team and coach

Remembering the tragic plane crash that killed Lamar University track team and coach

BEAUMONT - Family members of the 71 passengers killed in Monday’s plane crash in Colombia are now identifying the bodies of their loved ones.

The Associated Press is reporting that the pilot crashed into the mountains, and told air traffic controllers he had run out of fuel.

The crash killed most members of a Brazilian professional soccer team.

Tragedies like the Colombian crash hit close to home, and the sight of the wreckage are similar images seen in Beaumont almost 50 years ago.

A plane crash left 4 members of the Lamar University track team and their coach dead on impact.

A horrifying thought for Lamar track runner Erin Derrow.

“It actually hurts my heart and it makes me a little nervous because you wouldn't think things can happen like that,” she says.

“We travel a lot by plane and it makes me very nervous,” says Derrow.

Erin has been running for Lamar’s track team for almost two years, she says it's terrifying to think anything like this could happen to her or her teammates.

“It breaks my heart, every time we go to the coaches office we can see the boys and I know they've worked hard to put a name for the team, they helped us get where we're at,” says Derrow.

Their portrait hangs on the wall of Coach Clark’s office, he says they're a reminder of the impact Lamar has received from these unforgotten track stars.

“It’s a very tragic event, but for many of us it's a very prideful event, those were guys that represented the university at a high level,” says Lamar University Head track coach Trey Clark.

“They represented this program on the elite and national state so we're proud of their accomplishment but sad at lives that were cut short,” he explains.

It's at the Ty Terrell track, where Lamar University honors the life of the head coach and the tragic death of the track runners.

“Those guys are looking over my shoulder every time I’m at work.” Says Coach Clark

He says it's a reminder of the responsibility in doing the best job that he can.

“It makes me sad, and I work harder for them, to one day continue the legacy,” says Derrow.

The 1968 plane crash will live on among many Lamar Cardinal athletes

(© 2016 KBMT)


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