HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—For Dennis Foley, a compounding injury suffered while playing linebacker for Marshall University was the saving grace that kept him off of the DC-9 jetliner that careened into a hillside just hundreds of feet from its destination in Kenova, West Virginia, on Nov. 14, 1970.
The infamous tragedy would kill his roommate, kicker Marcelo Lajterman, and 74 others—teammates, coaches, staff, supporters and the flight crew.
In the 46 years since the tragedy, Marshall University’s Student Government Association has worked to remember those lost during the annual memorial service on the date of the crash, this year on Monday, Nov. 14, at noon.
“This ceremony and keeping this memory alive is so important to us,” said Emily Kinner, SGA vice president. “We hope to honor teammates, family, friends and the Marshall and Huntington communities as much as ever, 46 years later.”
Foley will be the keynote speaker at the Memorial Student Center plaza.
“It’s one of the greatest honors of my whole life,” Foley said.
“I think that there’s a lot of students and people who are interested in what happened,” Foley said. “It’s a responsibility I have to Marshall to help show everyone and especially current students what the true story is around the plane crash.”
A New Jersey native, Foley is now retired and living near Columbus, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, Deborah Foley. They have three sons—Jason, 40, Brent, 36, and Derek, 32.
For those who cannot attend, the service will be livestreamed at www.livestream.com/marshallu beginning at noon on Monday, Nov. 14.
Submitted by Marshall University Office of Communications.