ON THIS DAY: August 2, 1979. Beloved New York Yankees captain, catcher Thurman Munson was killed when his twin-engine Cessna Citation that he was piloting crashed at an airport near his Canton Ohio, home. He was just 32 years old.
Munson was practicing takeoffs and landings, known as touch-and-goes, at the Akron-Canton Regional Airport with friend Jerry Anderson and flight instructor Dave Hall.
On a third attempt the aircraft first touched down in a relatively level, clear area about 870 feet short of the runway. The aircraft slid through a small clump of trees, hit a large stump, and came to rest on a road adjacent to the airport boundary fence. Fire erupted immediately after the aircraft came to rest.
Hall and Anderson tried to pull Munson from the cockpit but were driven back by the heat and flames.
Munson died of asphyxiation due to the inhalation of super heated air and toxic substances.