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NBC Sports/Olympics Chairman Ebersol Injured in Plane Crash

Nov 28, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The crash of a chartered jet on takeoff in Colorado Sunday morning left NBC Sports and Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol, 57, and one son seriously injured and another son missing and presumed dead. The pilot and a flight attendant were killed, according to a Federal Aviation Administration official.

The Web site of KUSA-TV in Denver reported that the plane was taking off from Montrose Regional Airport in the Telluride ski resort area and was headed for South Bend, Ind., home of Notre Dame University, where Mr. Ebersol’s oldest son, Charlie, is a senior. Mr. Ebersol’s son Teddy, 14, was identified as missing.

Press reports said Mr. Ebersol was pulled from the wreckage by his son Charlie.

The KUSA report quoted an FAA regional spokesperson as saying the chartered plane, said to be carrying a party of six, crashed through a fence and burst into flames. Actress Susan Saint James, Mr. Ebersol’s wife, was not aboard the plane. Mr. Ebersol has a home in Telluride.

Investigators from the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected at the crash site Monday.

Authorities said the plane’s co-pilot, who was among the injured, was hospitalized in Denver. Dick Ebersol and Charlie Ebersol were reportedly hospitalized in Grand Junction, Colo.

Mr. Ebersol got his start working at ABC Sports for the late, legendary Roone Arledge and joined NBC in 1974 as director of weekend late-night programming. The following year, “Saturday Night Live” was born.

In recent years, Mr. Ebersol has been best known as the executive who made the Olympics all but exclusive to NBC for more than two decades. The network has rights to the Games through 2012. Last December, Mr. Ebersol signed a new nine-year contract to continue running NBC Sports and Olympics through 2012.

Daisy Whitney contributed to this report.