October 11, 2006


Yankee Dies in Plane Crash, Official Says (MARIA NEWMAN and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM, 10/11/06, NY Times)

Cory Lidle, a pitcher for the New York Yankees, was killed today when his small private plane crashed into a residential high-rise building on New York City’s Upper East Side, igniting several apartments before pieces of the aircraft crashed to the ground, a high-ranking city official confirmed late this afternoon.

The plane was registered to Mr. Lidle, who was a licensed pilot. At a news conference this afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that a flight instructor and a student pilot with 75 hours of experience were aboard and killed, but he would not confirm that Mr. Lidle was one of them, saying the families of the victims had not yet been notified.

“No bodies were found in the building,” the mayor said, adding that 11 firefighters were also injured in the fire.He said that the plane left Teterboro Airport in New Jersey at about 2:30 p.m., that it circled the Statute of Liberty and then headed north up the East River, where it “had not violated any air traffic control rules.”

The plane then lost touch with air traffic controllers, but radar showed that the plane flew near the 59th Street Bridge, he said.

Then, at 2:42 p.m., the mayor said, 911 received a call reporting a crash at a building on 72nd Street.

Following an afternoon of wild speculation about terrorism you end the day with Mets fans insisting it was just a way for George to claim the front page...

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2006 7:18 PM

ESPN's coverage of this tragedy has been unremitting, goulish and inane. No surprise there, but would it have been the same if he were a Brewer? I had to laugh when my wife noted how much more out of control things would be if the Yankees were still in the playoffs

Posted by: jdkelly at October 11, 2006 7:42 PM

Back in the 1960s and early 70s, my father had a friend who lived on the 21st floor of the apartment building that I believe is just to the river side of the building Lidle's plane hit, which is why the reports saying it struck the 20th floor were confusing to me -- if that were the case, you couldn't have hit that building without striking the one to the east of it. Later reports cited Mayor Bloomberg in saying the plane actually hit the 30th floor of the 50-story building (ESPN was still using the 20th floor number an hour after the mayor's press conference).

As for the coverage, after 9/11 any plane crash in New York, and especially in Manhattan, is going to get huge initial coverage from all the media outlets. When the sports hook of Lidle being t he victim became known, I'm sure the folks at ESPN jumped in with both feet in order to play in the news big leagues on the story, along with taking advantage of their ABC News connections. Hard to say the death of a Brewer would get the same coverage, unless his death happened in a big media market with lots of TV camera and network reporters.

Posted by: John at October 11, 2006 8:13 PM

The initial coverage was certainly warranted. The later coverage, after the facts were preety clear, was worthy only of Oprah.

Posted by: jdkelly at October 11, 2006 8:35 PM