Former Patriots tight end Russ Francis killed in plane crash
Former New England Patriots tight end Russ Francis was killed in a place crash in Lake Placid, New York on Sunday, according to multiple reports. Francis was 70 years old.
According to the NTSB, Francis was aboard the plane with former commander of the U.S. Air Force Richard McSpadden when the plane has an issue shortly after takeoff from Lake Placid Airport. Francis had recently purchased Lake Placid Airways and according to the Boston Globe was authorized to fly single- and multiengine planes and helicopters by the FAA.
A first-round pick by the Patriots out of Oregon in 1975, Francis played 13 seasons in the NFL including eight in New England. He was a two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler with the Patriots, and is a member of the All-1970s and 35th Anniversary teams. Francis also won Super Bowl XIX with the San Francisco 49ers in 1984.
“On behalf of the entire New England Patriots organization, we extend our sincerest sympathies to the family of Russ Francis, who tragically passed away yesterday,” Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement from the team. “Russ was a fan favorite throughout his playing career. He was a dynamic player on the field who had an even bigger personality off it. He knew no boundaries, pushed the limits and lived his life to the fullest. Our thoughts are with Russ’s family, friends, teammates and the many Patriots fans who mourn his loss.”