Sports Reporter Carley McCord, 30, Laid to Rest One Week After Louisiana Plane Crash That Killed 5

Carley McCord was one of the five victims killed in a Louisiana plane crash on Dec. 28

One week after Carley McCord was killed in the small plane crash near the Lafayette Regional Airport in Lafayette, Louisiana, her family and friends gathered for a private funeral service and burial.

The former sports reporter’s funeral was held on Saturday at St. Jean Vianney Church in Baton Rouge, Louisana, where McCord was a member since birth, according to WDSU.

Memorial services were also held in the church parish hall, where those close to McCord were able to share stories and speak about the 30-year-old sports journalist.

“I’m gonna miss her silly laugh,” McCord’s sister, Kaleigh Pedersen, said, according to The Daily Advertiser. “I’m going to miss her showing up randomly at my house. I’m going to miss her sporadic stuff and that goofy laugh and her loving my kids. I’m gonna miss her. I’m gonna miss all of her.”

On Sunday, a seat in the press box at the Saints-Vikings game was also saved for McCord with a sign as well as a bouquet of white flowers.

Instead of flowers, the family asked for all donations be made to the Carley McCord Memorial Scholarship, a fund set up by Northwestern State University, McCord’s alma mater.

Carley Mccord
Carley McCord/Instagram

On Dec. 28, McCord’s plane was expected to arrive in Atlanta, where she was set to attend a college football playoff game between Louisiana State University and Oklahoma, Steven Ensminger Jr., McCord’s husband, told the Associated Press.

Ensminger Jr. is the son of Steve Ensminger, who is the offensive coordinator for the LSU football team.

“Carley Ann McCord was flying high with friends traveling to cover the LSU game for WDSU – TV when God re-routed the flight calling her home on December 28, 2019. The sum of one’s life is the mark they leave upon the world. Carley left a bigger mark in 30 years than most leave in a lifetime,” her obituary reads. “Our strength lies in knowing she is more alive today than ever. Carley would not want to be remembered for her list of accolades, but the story she penned on our lives.”

A spokesperson for the Lafayette Fire Department previously told PEOPLE that the plane was taking off from the airport, on its way to Atlanta, when it crashed around 9:20 a.m. on Saturday morning, killing five people.

One person on board survived the crash and was taken to a local hospital along with three bystanders who were injured.

McCord’s employer, WDSU, also confirmed the news of her death. “It is with broken hearts that we share that WDSU lost a beloved member of our team today. Our hearts are with the McCord and Ensminger families at this time,” the news outlet wrote on Twitter.

Carley McCord and Steve Ensminger Jr.
Carley McCord/Instagram

“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 to the news outlet. “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.”

McCord was born and raised in Baton Rouge, and was a graduate of Northwestern State University and Louisiana State University, according to WDSU.

The New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, two teams McCord had worked for as an in-game host, also issued a joint statement, praising her for her “utmost professionalism.”

During the Dec. 28 game against the Indiana Pacers, the Pelicans held a moment of silence for McCord, and her death was also mourned by Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas.

“So sad to hear the news about Carley McCord she was always very excited and happy,” Thomas wrote. “The worst part is I saw her reporting yesterday as I was leaving home in the parking lot. Really sad, life is so short really wish I could do something.”

McCord was also the first runner-up in the Miss Louisiana competition in both 2011 and 2012 and auditioned for The Bachelor in 2013, The New York Times reported.

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