Lynyrd Skynyrd Tragedy Anniversary (Top Story)
Their new tour was the biggest and best yet. Five shows into the tour they played the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville. On their way to Baton Rouge the next day, October 20, 1977, the pilot of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Convair 240 airplane radioed that the plane was perilously low on fuel. Passengers and crew would fly for just 10 more minutes before crashing into a heavily wooded area in the middle of a swamp in Gillsburg, Mississippi.
Three helicopters from the Coast Guard, National Guard and Forrest County General Hospital helped in the rescue, transporting medics to the scene. Bulldozers were rushed to the scene to cut through the brush and woods from nearby Mississippi State Highway 568. Nearly everyone aboard was injured and taken to nearby hospitals. Besides the injured, six lives were lost in the crash including singer/songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines, his sister and back-up singer Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray. - more on this story
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