Husband of Carley McCord, who died in Lafayette plane crash, sues plane owners, pilot


LAFAYETTE, La. (Daily Advertiser) — The husband of Carley McCord, a broadcaster who was one of five people killed in a Lafayette plane crash in December, has filed a lawsuit against the plane’s owners and the pilot’s estate. 

Steven Ensminger Jr., the son of LSU football offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, sued in Lafayette Parish court seeking damages for his wife’s death.

Ensminger’s lawsuit claims the plane’s owners and the pilot, Ian Biggs, were negligent in McCord’s death, failing to properly maintain the plane and for letting Biggs fly in unfavorable weather conditions without proper training. 

Carley McCord, four others, killed in December crash

McCord and four others died on Dec. 28 when the small passenger plane they were traveling in crashed shortly after takeoff from the Lafayette Regional Airport. McCord and the others were traveling to the Atlanta-DeKalb Peachtree Airport, on their way to attend the Peach Bowl semifinal championship game between LSU and Oklahoma.

Shortly after takeoff, the plane hit trees and power lines in front of an apartment on Verot School Road, then hit the road and continued across the U.S. Post Office parking lot before landing in a nearby field. 

The crash killed five of the six people on board, including the pilot, Biggs. The sixth passenger, Stephen Wade Berzas, was treated for burns that covered 75% of his body. A bystander, who was in the post office’s parking lot, also was injured and suffered burns to 30% of her body.

Ensminger Jr. filed the lawsuit earlier this month seeking damages from the plane’s owners Global Data Systems, Inc., Cheyenne Partners, LLC., Eagle Air, LLC. and Southern Lifestyle Development Company, LLC.; the insurance companies Sompo International Holdings and LTD., Endurance American Insurance Company; and the estate of Biggs. 

Global Data Systems is owned by Charles Vincent. His wife and son, 51-year-old Gretchen Vincent; and 15-year-old Michael Walker Vincent, also died in the crash. Robert Vaughn Crisp II, another victim, was the vice president of business development and field services at the company. Berzas was the vice president of sales.

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