HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – On Nov. 14, 1970, the Huntington community was struck by tragedy when Southern Airways Flight 932 struck a hillside just a mile from the Tri-state Airport runway in Kenova, West Virginia. All 75 people aboard – the football team, coaches, staff, supporters, and the flight crew – were killed in the crash. To this day, it remains the worst sports tragedy in American history.
Each year, the Marshall and Huntington community gather with alumni, friends, and family to remember the lives lost on that tragic night with the annual Fountain Ceremony where all 75 names of the deceased will be read, a wreath and 75 flowers will be lain at the fountain and the fountain itself will be turned off until spring.
The university says the featured speaker for this year’s ceremony will be Vince Carelli, who was only 3-years-old when his father, Marshall University Offensive Line Coach Al Carelli Jr., was killed in the crash. Carelli Jr. had just accepted the position months prior to the crash, according to the university. Vince Carelli will share his story of how the crash and losing his father at such a young age has impacted his life.
In Nov. 2020, marking the 50th anniversary of the crash, Marshall University honored the 39 students killed in the crash with posthumous degrees.