It’s been 23 years since eight friends and members of Reba McEntire‘s band lost their lives in a tragic plane crash. It was a deeply heartbreaking time for the singer, who took to social media on Sunday (March 16) to share a heartfelt statement about her lost loved ones:
Longtime country fans will remember the tragedy, which occurred in 1991. Seven of McEntire’s band members, her tour manager and two pilots crashed near the U.S.-Mexican border, killing everyone on the flight. The plane was en route to Amarillo, Texas to refuel and then to Fort Wayne, Ind., where the country star had a concert scheduled.
Sadly, the plane never made it.
“One of them took off, and when the other one took off, 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 recalls in an emotional OWN appearance.
“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,’” McEntire recalls.
“… I don’t guess it ever quits hurting,” the country icon adds. “But I can see that room. I can see Narvel walking back and forth.”
Even though it’s been more than 20 years, McEntire vows to this day that her friends will never be forgotten.