Marshall University Plane Crash

Williamson Daily News
November 16, 1970

Mingoan Aboard

Donald Tackett Of Dingess Trainer For MU

A Lenore High School graduate of several years ago, whose interest in sports had carried him to a position as trainer for Marshall University's athletic teams as he worked toward a major in the field of Physical Education, died Saturday in a fiery plane crash near Huntington with the team he had served so well.

Donald Tackett, Jr., 23, of Dingess, was among the 75 victims of the crash of a DC-9 within a mile and a half of the Tri-State Airport runway as Marshall's Thundering Herd returned from a football game played Saturday afternoon with East Carolina at Greenville, N. C.

Tackett had initially been listed as a football player from Paden City, but later it became known that he was from Mingo County.

His parents, Donald and Lily May Tackett, of Dingess, drove to the scene after learning of the jetliner's crash and waited anxiously with other families for news of any survivors. They returned home later after being advised to do so until notified of the positive identification of their son some time this week.

Tackett, whose father was employed as a Mingo County school bus driver for several years, had served as a teacher aide in the summer ESEA Title I program in this county one summer.

Elmer Dickinson, assistant principal of Lenore High School, said young Tackett had a record of being a good student at the high school, where he was graduated June 3, 1966. He had played intramural basketball and softball and also went out for Lenore's track team. He had received reading and attendance certificates during his years at Lenore.

At the time of his death, he was a senior working toward a major in Physical Education and Driver Education. He was interested in first aid for athletic teams and eventually became a student assistant to Prof. Ed Prelez, head of the Physical Education Department at Marshall and a recognized authority on the subject of first aid. Tackett subsequently became a trainer for the Thundering Herd football, basketball, track and other teams. Prelez usually accompanied the teams on their trips but had decided not to accompany the Herd Saturday, it was reported.

Tackett is said to have been interested in all types of sports, including swimming as well as those for which he had served as trainer. He served as a lifeguard at the Laurel Lake swimming pool for at least one season.

Besides his parents, he is survived by two sisters, Miss Earsie Tackett, a sophomo[r]e at Lenore High School, and Mrs. Mary Ann May of Columbus, O., and a brother, Michael Tackett, at home.


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