Illinois State University associate coach Torrey Ward made a tragic last post to his Twitter account just before his untimely death. Ward, along with six others, perished in a horrific plane crash after leaving the NCAA championship game in the Cessna aircraft.
Ward’s last tweet showed a picture of a private plane, appearing to be a different one than the man would later die in that night, with a caption noting that his “ride to the game wasn’t bad.” He posted a photo of the plane and photos from the big event. However, Ward had no idea that his method of transportation to the big game would also end his life.
— ILStateWard (@CoachTWard) April 7, 2015
The Cessna 414 was carrying Ward and six others from the championship game after a party when it crashed shortly after midnight on Tuesday. All seven passengers on the plane were pronounced dead at the scene. The Daily Mail reports that the other passengers on the plane were Illinois State Deputy director of athletics for external affairs, Aaron Leetch, a meat processing owner Scott Bittner, bar owner Terry Stralow, Wells Fargo employee Jason Jones, Sprint regional representative Andy Butler, and pilot Tom Hileman.
The Director of Athletics at Illinois State says that both Ward and Leetch will be deeply missed and will do all in their power to honor their legacies.
“The Redbird family and the Bloomington-Normal community has suffered a terrible loss today. Aaron Leetch was a shining star in this business. He had a gift in dealing with people and building relationships. Our external units were making incredible progress under his leadership, and he was on that trip doing what he does best.
“Torrey Ward was a big part of the success taking place with our men’s basketball program. He had a big personality, was a talented coach and recruiter, and our fans loved him.
“Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those involved. There is no play in the playbook for times like these. We will miss Aaron and Torrey deeply, and we will support their families in any way that we can. To honor their individual and collective legacies, we will move the Redbirds and our community forward.”
[Image Credit: Twitter/ Torrey Ward]