Reba McEntire Marks 30th Anniversary of Tragic Plane Crash

She remebers those lost in a March 16, 1991 accident. 

Written by Chris Parton
Reba McEntire Marks 30th Anniversary of Tragic Plane Crash
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Host Reba McEntire performs onstage during the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2019/FilmMagic for ACM )

Some wounds never truly heal, and for Reba McEntire, one of those wounds will always be the tragic loss of her friends and bandmates in a 1991 plane crash.

The accident, which claimed the lives of seven band members and her tour manager, happened on March 16, 1991. Every year since then, McEntire has been sure to remember those who were lost and reach out to their families. But this year marks the tragedy’s 30th anniversary, and the country icon posted a special message on Instagram.

“No matter how long ago a tragedy happened and no matter how much time goes by after losing people we love…the anniversaries of losing them still sting and memories come rushing in,” she wrote, including photos of her departed friends. “Praying for peace today along with all the families of Chris Austin, Kirk Cappello, Joey Cigainero, Paula Kaye Evans, Jim Hammon, Terry Jackson, Tony Saputo and Michael Thomas.”

Reba McEntire has talked openly about the crash and how it affected her over the years, and she even wrote about the events surrounding it in the 1994 biography, Reba: My Story. She and her band were set to travel from San Diego, California, to Fort Wayne, Indiana, following a corporate-event performance. But McEntire was sick with bronchitis, and decided to stay behind for the night. The band took off in two private jets, but due to the nighttime conditions and unfamiliar terrain, one crashed into a mountainside just a few minutes after takeoff.