~SPECIAL REPORT: Yankees’ Pitcher Cory Lidle Killed in Plane Crash
Posted by Admin on October 11, 2006
UPDATE – 7:30 p.m. US/Central – October 11, 2006
Prayers of comfort and strength are being said for the family, friends and colleagues of Cory Lidle, especially for his wife, Melanie, and his 6-year-old son Christopher. Lidle, a pitcher for the New York Yankees Major League Baseball Team was killed today, along with his flight instructor when the small plane he was flying crashed into a Manhattan Apartment Building shortly after 3 p.m. US/Eastern time.
Prayers are also being said for the family and friends of Lidle’s flight instructor who was also killed in the crash. Prayers of healing and comfort are being said for 10 people, including 6 firemen who were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries received. (There were some new reports of 4 people killed, but only 2 have been confirmed at this time.)
“Small Aircraft Crashes Into New York City High Rise, Killing Yankees Pitcher Cory Lidle” – FOX News – News America Group – New York, New York, US – 11 October 2006
NEW YORK — A small plane carrying New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle crashed into a 50-story luxury building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side Wednesday, killing Lidle and an instructor, igniting a raging fire and initially trapping people on the floors above the point of impact.
New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner confirmed to FOX News that Lidle, 34, had died in the crash, leaving behind a wife and 6-year-old son.
“This is a terrible and shocking tragedy that has stunned the entire Yankees organization. I offer my deepest condolences and prayers to his wife Melanie, and son Christopher, on their enormous loss,” Steinbrenner said in a statement issued through his publicity officer.
In 1979, the Yankees lost catcher Thurman Munson in the crash of a plane he was piloting. It wasn’t clear whether Lidle — who got his flying license during last year’s offseason — was at the controls of the single-engine aircraft Wednesday.
The pitcher’s passport was found at the accident site. The plane issued a distress call before it struck the high-rise building.
New York Police Department officials and the New York City Medical Examiner said two were confirmed dead, despite other reports of four killed. Nearby New York Presbyterian said they admitted 10 people with injuries — six of them firefighters. Officials there said one person was dead on arrival.
Port Authority officials said the plane took off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey at 2:30 p.m. ET and circled the Statue of Liberty before heading up the East River. Air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft when it was in the area of the 59th Street Bridge, according to Bloomberg.
The plane hit the 30th and 31st floors of the building, located at 524 East 72nd Street.
The New York Fire Department told FOX News that there were people trapped above the point of impact, but the NYPD later said that all occupants located above the fire-ravaged floors had been evacuated.
By 3:30 p.m. ET, the blaze was reported to have been extinguished.
FBI spokeswoman Christine Monaco said there was no indication the crash — which happened five years and one month after Sept. 11, 2001 — was a terrorist attack, but officials “have been sent to the scene as a routine.”
“The initial indication is that there is a terrible accident,” said Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke.
Fighter jets, however, were scrambled and were patrolling the skies above major cities as a precaution, according to Defense Department officials.
“There is nothing to suggest that anything remotely like terrorism was involved,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a press conference Wednesday. He said the aircraft appeared to be a privately-owned plane.
FAA spokesman Jim Peters said that all three New York City-area airports were operating normally, but LaGuardia International Airport later reported gate hold and taxi delays of between 31 and 45 minutes in length that were increasing.
LaGuardia arrival traffic had airborne delays of 15 minutes or less, according to the airport.
The crash set off a raging fire that sent a pillar of gray smoke over the city, police said. Witnesses reported seeing a gigantic fireball come out of the building, according to authorities.
Flames could be seen shooting from windows on two or three upper floors of the 50-story building, near the East River. Burning debris rained down onto the street below.
“There’s huge pieces of debris falling,” said one witness who refused to give her full name. “There’s so much falling now, I’ve got to get away.”
Bloomberg went to the site, where parts of the fuselage were falling to the ground in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
There were dozens of firefighters, emergency workers and other first responders on the scene.
A helicopter would be expected in that area of the city; no other aircraft should be around that part of Manhattan, according to the FAA,
“Everyone was running down the street, kids were screaming and crying,” Rich Behar, a New York City resident and former Time magazine reporter, told FOX News. “There was a lot of horror and terror when it hit,” Behar added, saying the whole ordeal reminded him of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The building is a 50-story condominium tower built in 1986 and located nearby Sotheby’s Auction House. It has 183 apartments, many of which sell for more than $1 million.
A spokesman for the National Transportation Security Board said that agency is organizing a team to send to New York to investigate the crash.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
“Small Aircraft Crashes Into New York City High Rise, Killing Yankees Pitcher Cory Lidle” – FOX News
“YANKEES’ LIDLE KILLED IN PLANE CRASH – Small plane he was piloting slams into Manhattan high-rise” – by Mark Feinsand – Official Website of the New York Yankees – MLB.com (Major League Baseball’s Official Website) – New York, New York, US – 11 October 2006
NEW YORK — Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle died in an airplane accident in New York City on Wednesday afternoon when a plane he was piloting crashed into a 50-story building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Reports indicated that the plane took off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey around 2:30 p.m. ET, crashing into the building roughly 15 minutes later. The New York City Fire Department and New York City Police Department said that at least two people were killed in the accident.
FBI officials told CNN that Lidle, 34, was the only person aboard the plane.
“This is a terrible and shocking tragedy that has stunned the entire Yankees organization,” Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement. “I offer my deep condolences and prayers to his wife, Melanie, and son, Christopher, on their enormous loss.”
The plane, a Cirrus SR20, was purchased by Lidle last offseason for $187,000 after he earned his pilot’s license.
News reports indicated that Lidle’s passport was found on the sidewalk near the building.
Lidle, whose team was eliminated from postseason play on Saturday by the Detroit Tigers, told reporters on Sunday that he planned to fly home to California on Wednesday. He said it would take roughly 15 hours of flying time, though he planned on stopping at least twice, including one stop in Arizona.
ESPN reported that Lidle’s wife, Melanie, was on a commercial flight headed for California and was not on board Lidle’s plane. ESPN also reported that Lidle called in fuel problems shortly after takeoff.
Lidle’s agent, Jordan Feagan, told Newsday he was told by the Yankees that Lidle was among the fatalities in the crash.
“He wasn’t just my client,” Feagan said. “He was probably my closest friend.”
Federal Aviation Administration records showed the single-engine plane was registered to Lidle, an FBI official said, and FBI reports show that Lidle’s passport was found at the scene.
“I am deeply saddened by this tragic event and I ask everyone to keep Cory, his family and all those affected by this tragedy in your prayers,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
“This is a terrible shock,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “I was with Ron Guidry and Lee Mazzilli when I heard the news and we were just stunned. Cory’s time with the Yankees was short, but he was a good teammate and a great competitor. My heart goes out to his family.”
Lidle’s interest in flying was examined in a New York Times story on Sept. 8. In that article, Lidle discussed the safety issues regarding the plane.
“The whole plane has a parachute on it,” Lidle told the Times. “Ninety-nine percent of pilots that go up never have engine failure, and the one percent that do usually land it. But if you’re up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly.”
There have been several fatal plane crashes involving Major League players, the two most famous being the one that killed Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente in 1972 and the one in which Yankees captain Thurman Munson died in 1979.
Lidle, a right-hander, was acquired by the Yankees from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30 in a trade that also brought right fielder Bobby Abreu to New York. He went 4-3 with a 5.16 ERA in 10 games, nine of them starts, for the Yankees.
Lidle also pitched for the Mets, Devil Rays, A’s, Blue Jays and Reds. He played in all or parts of nine Major League seasons and had a record of 82-72.
“The Phillies family is extremely saddened by the tragic news involving Cory Lidle,” Phillies president David Montgomery said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are extended to his wife Melanie, son Christopher and those families who were affected by the terrible incident in New York.”
Yankees captain Derek Jeter added in statement: “I am shocked by this devastating news. Spending the last few months as Cory’s teammate, I came to know him as a great man. While he was known as a baseball player, he was, more importantly, a husband and father and, at a time like this, I want to share my deepest sympathies with his wife Melanie, his son Christopher and all those who know and loved him.”
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
– “Yankees’ Lidle killed in plane crash – Small plane he was piloting slams into Manhattan high-rise” – Yankees.com
AUDIO STATEMENT: “Franco on former teammate Cory Lidle” – Available on THIS PAGE (Look for Speaker Icon) – Official Website of the New York Yankees (Yankees.com)
“New York Yankees Official News – Press Release” – Official Website of the New York Yankees (Yankees.com) – 11 October 2006
Owner George Steinbrenner’s statement:
“This is a terrible and shocking tragedy that has stunned the entire Yankees organization. I offer my deep condolences and prayers to his wife, Melanie, and son, Christopher, on their enormous loss.”
GM Brian Cashman’s statement:
“I am deeply saddened by this tragic event and I ask everyone to keep Cory, his family and all those affected by this tragedy in your prayers.”
Manager Joe Torre’s statement:
“This is a terrible shock. I was with Ron Guidry and Lee Mazzilli when I heard the news and we were just stunned. Cory’s time with the Yankees was short, but he was a good teammate and a great competitor. My heart goes out to his family.”
Captain Derek Jeter’s statement:
“I am shocked by this devastating news. Spending the last few months as Cory’s teammate, I came to know him as a great man. While he was known as a baseball player, he was, more importantly, a husband and father and, at a time like this, I want to share my deepest sympathies with his wife Melanie, his son Christopher and all those who know and loved him.”
– “New York Yankees Official Info – Press Release” – Official Website of the New York Yankees (Yankees.com)
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