HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Wednesday marked the 42nd anniversary of the worst sports related aviation disaster in U.S. history -- the Marshall University plane crash of Nov. 14, 1970. The Marshall community came out collectively to remember on Wednesday.
The crash claimed the lives of 75 victims – football players, coaches, team supporters and the crew of the chartered DC-9 jet. It crashed just short of the runway at Tri-State Airport in Wayne County on a return trip from a game against East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.
As always, hundreds showed up at the MU Memorial Fountain for an annual ceremony that helps individuals and the community remember and heal.
Everyone has an individual story, but there are any number of people who can identify with Mo Lajterman's story. His brother Marcello Lajterman, a kicker on the 1970 team, was among the lives lost.
"I emulated everything he ever did,” Mo Lajterman said. “He was my idol. He was my brother. He was my best friend. When he had a chance to come to Marshall University, we were so proud of him because he had a full scholarship."
The fountain was turned off during the ceremony, as it is each year on Nov. 14. It will be turned back on in spring.