Reba McEntire Remembers Fallen Band Members on Plane Crash Anniversary
Wednesday (March 16) marks the 25th anniversary of the tragic plane crash which took the lives of eight members of Reba McEntire's band and crew, and the country superstar turned to social media to reflect on the loss.
McEntire and her band performed a private show for IBM executives in California on March 15, 1991, and afterward she chartered two private planes to transport her band and crew to Ft. Wayne, Ind. for their next scheduled concert. McEntire was recovering from a case of bronchitis, and she and her husband and stylist spent the night in California, while the other in their entourage boarded the planes.
At approximately 1:45AM on March 16, the first plane to depart, a Hawker Siddele, crashed into the side of Otay Mountain, 10 miles east of the Brown Field airport where it took off. Chris Austin, Kirk Cappello, Joey Cigainero, Paula Kay Evans, Jim Hammon, Terry Jackson, Anthony Saputo and Michael Thomas died in the crash, along with the pilot, Donald Holms, and co-pilot Chris Hollinger.
“When we were notified, Narvel went and met with our pilot, and he told us what had happened,” McEntire tearfully recalled to Oprah Winfrey in 2012. “And Narvel came back to the hotel room where I was — it was two or three o’clock in the morning — and he said one of the planes had crashed, and I said, ‘Are they okay?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.’ I said, ‘But you’re not sure?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.'”
McEntire dedicated her next album, For My Broken Heart, to her fallen friends. In a post to Facebook on Wednesday, she revealed she recently visited the crash site, and offered prayers to everyone affected by the terrible loss.
"Today is the 25th anniversary of the airplane crash," she writes. "I went back to San Diego Nov of last year and took a helicopter up to the crash site. I feel in my heart that they know we still miss them so much. My love and prayers to all the families and friends."
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