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Tragedy of Marshall University crash remembered on anniversary

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CHOCOWINITY, Beaufort County - Tragedy struck the college football world 46 years ago on Monday.

On Nov. 14, 1970, the Marshall University football team and coaching staff boarded their plane in Kinston after losing a tough game to East Carolina University. The team was heading back home to West Virginia.

Hours later, something terrible happened. The team and coaching staff, including all of the flight crew, died in a plane crash near a mountaintop a few miles from Huntington, W. Va, where the university is located.

Harold Robinson remembers that game and the moments right before they found out the fate of the team they had just played. Robinson was a halfback on the 1970 team. He was injured and didn't play in the game against Marshall. Instead, he was helping the coaching staff. He says he recalls ECU coach Mike McGee asking the Marshall team to stay the night. The coach declined, insisting that they had to get back.

"What a lot of people didn't know, coach McGee had to go notify parents that he had never met, they were staying at the Holiday Inn, that their sons were dead," Robinson said.

Marshall University held it's annual memorial service Monday for the 75 people who lost their lives that night.

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