On Saturday, a tragic plane crash near Lake Placid’s small airport claimed the life of a former NFL star who had recently taken up residency in the area. The accident occurred near the runway of the famous Winter Olympic Village, causing fatal injuries to the victim.
During his career in the NFL, Russ Francis spent 13 seasons playing for the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers. Hailing from Hawaii, the Patriots picked him in the first round in 1975 after his time at the University of Oregon.
As stated in a report by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, the recent owner of Lake Placid Airways, a small scenic tour service operating for 50 years, was a 3-time Pro Bowler.
According to a report by The Adirondack Daily Enterprise, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association released a statement stating that Francis and Richard McSpadden, a senior vice president at the association, were travelling in a Cessna 177 Cardinal when the plane encountered an emergency shortly after takeoff. The statement further revealed that the aircraft tried to return to the airport but unfortunately failed to make it to the runway, losing both passengers’ lives.
Russ Francis, the former tight end, was an integral part of the small Adirondack community after he won a Super Bowl as a member of the San Francisco 49ers in 1985 in Super Bowl XIX against the Miami Dolphins. According to North Elba Town Supervisor Derek Doty, he and Francis became close friends instantly, and his energy was infectious. Doty also mentioned to adirondackdailyenterprise.com that he would delay further comments until after consoling Francis’s family. Sadly, Russ Francis passed away at 70, leaving the community in mourning.
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