Richmond marks 50th anniversary of deadly plane crash that killed 11

Posted at 5:53 PM, Nov 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 08:07:37-05

RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — In 1972, Madison High School made it to the state football playoffs.

"That was a big deal," Madison County native Jimmy Cornelison recalled. "Yes, absolutely."

A group of ten men chartered a plane to watch the team go up against Trigg County in Western Kentucky.

"They were all very energetic, most of them were businessmen," Cornelison said of the men.

Madison High lost that game, but the city of Richmond ended up losing so much more.

The men were flying back to Lexington on November 17, 1972 from Hopkinsville when their plane crashed in Elkton, which is in Todd County.

All ten men and the pilot died in the crash.

"It felt like someone hit you with a brick," Cornelison said. "Am I sleepy? Is this a dream?"

Cornelison said they were all so loved and well-known in the community.

"The town just came to a standstill," he remembered. "But it just didn't happen once. It happened over and over and over again until we got them all buried."

Elaine Mundy Herron was just 18 when she had to bury her father, Maurice Mundy.

"I was a daddy's girl," she said tearfully. "I miss him."

50 years later, she said he's always on her mind.

"I think about him all the time," she said. "I wish he could be here, especially to see his grandchildren."

"What I think about that whole group there is what did we lose out on not having them?" Cornelison questioned. "They were all energetic, they were not afraid of taking chances in business and stuff like that. Intelligent. What kind of change would that have made on our community, on our county."

A loss that is impossible to measure, to fathom, on this 50th anniversary.

A documentary on the crash and the impact on the community played at the Madison County Library Thursday. You can watch it here.