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November 14, 1970 ... Remembered

Memorial of the 1970 Marshall University Football Team Plane Crash

Louis A. Peake


A life long resident of Huntington, WV, Louis A. Peake, came to Marshall after three years in the U.S. Army in 1969. He met Donald Tackett, who talked him into applying for the job of athletic trainer for football. After talking to head trainer Jim Shroer, he was offered the job and attended a training camp at Morgantown, W.V., for certification. Two trainers attended each game and there was some uncertainty about who would go to East Carolina game, until Shroer decided to go. Donald Tackett, who had never flown, also asked to go. Peake learned about the crash from his brother, who lived near the airport. He called and told him that a plane was down and burning. Shortly thereafter, Dr. James Heckman, an area physician and team doctor, called asking him to meet at Gullickson Hall in order to pick up medial and dental records to help identify the dead. Peake, along with others, worked throughout the night, helping to identify the dead as firefighters brought them in. It became his "living nightmare." He spent the next few days attending funerals. Although the new coach, Jack Lengyel, asked him to continue as an athletic trainer, he turned him down. He graduated with a bachelorís degree in history from Marshall in 1972, taught in Ohio for two years, returned to Marshall to earn his masterís degree in 1976, and became a history professor in 1978. He is now an adjunct professor at Marshall

He was not on the airplane.

Team Photo