The Tragedy That Changed Reba McEntire

McEntire would tearfully recall what happened next in an emotional interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2012. The second plane took off and proceeded unencumbered to its destination, but the first aircraft to depart met with disaster just ten miles east of the airport.

“The tip of the wing of the airplane hit a rock on the side of Otay Mountain, and it killed everyone on the plane,” McEntire recounted to Winfrey. “When we were notified, Narvel went and met with our pilot, and he told us what had happened. And Narvel came back to the hotel room where I was — it was two or three o’clock in the morning — and he said one of the planes had crashed, and I said, ‘Are they OK?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.’ I said, ‘But you’re not sure?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.'”

As McEntire recalled, they anxiously tried to get the details of the tragedy.

“Narvel was going room to room with a phone and calling …” she began, pausing as tears came to her eyes. “I’m sorry — it’s been 20 years, but it’s just like — I don’t guess it ever quits hurting,” she said. “But I can see that room. I can see Narvel walking back and forth.”

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