Sports Outside the Beltway

Yankee Pitcher Cory Lidle Dies in Plane Crash

A plane flew into a Manhattan high-rise apartment earlier today, sending fighter planes scrambling in fear that another terrorist attack was underway. It turns out the plane was being piloted by New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, who died in the crash.

ESPN reported around 502 EST:

A small plane piloted by New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle crashed into a 50-story condominium tower Wednesday on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, killing at least four people, authorities said. Lidle died in the crash.

Now, at 510, the story is less decisive:

A small plane with New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle aboard crashed into a 50-story condominium tower Wednesday on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, killing at least four people and raining flaming debris on sidewalks, authorities said.

Federal Aviation Administration records showed the single-engine plane was registered to Lidle, and FBI reports show that Lidle’s passport was found at the scene. The FBI believed Lidle was the only person aboard the plane and the other three deaths occurred inside the building.

A sidebar to the story notes that many athletes have been killed in airplane crashes:

Individual athlete air crashes
• Feb. 14, 2000: Tony Bettenhausen, Jr., race car driver/owner, near Lexington, Ky.
• Oct. 25, 1999: Payne Stewart, golfer, Mina, S.D.
• July 12, 1993: Davey Allison, race car driver, Talladega, Ala.
• Jan. 1, 1993: Alan Kulwicki, race car driver, Bristol, Tenn.
• Jan. 11, 1980: Bo Rein, LSU football coach, Atlantic ocean
• Feb. 9, 1979: Thurman Munson, NY Yankee catcher, Canton, Ohio
• Nov. 29, 1975: Graham Hill, race car driver, Hertfordshire, England
• Dec, 31, 1975: Roberto Clemente: Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder, San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Aug. 31, 1969: Rocky Marciano, heavryweight boxing champion, Newton, Iowa
• Feb. 13, 1964: Ken Hubbs, Chicago Cubs second baseman, near Provo, Utah
• March 31, 1931: Knute Rockne, Notre Dame football coach, Bazaar, Kan.
Team air crashes
• March 14, 1980: 14 members of U.S. Olympic boxing team, near Warsaw, Poland
• Dec. 13, 1977: 14 members of University of Evansville basketball team, Evansville, Ind.
• Nov. 14, 1970: 37 members of Marshall University football team, near Huntington, W. Va.
• Oct. 2, 1970: 14 members of Wichita State football team, Silver Plume, Col.
• Feb. 15, 1961: 18 members of U.S. figure skating team, near Brussels, Belgium
• Oct. 29, 1960: 16 members of the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo football team, near Toledo, Ohio

Allison’s death was in a helicopter, I believe.

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