Mississippi unveils Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash monument

Associated Press – GILLSBURG — Forty-two years after a plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd to their next sold-out show crashed in a Southwest Mississippi swamp, a monument to honor the band members and their crew who died will be unveiled near that fateful spot in Gillsburg.

The official unveiling is Oct. 20 at 3 p.m. about 400 yards from the actual crash site, which is difficult to navigate because of trees, vines and marsh. The memorial will sit on land donated by Dwain and Lola Easley on Easley Road, just off Hwy. 568. Dwain Easley was one of the rescuers that night.

The unveiling is free and open to the public. Pat Nelson, one of the organizers of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Monument Project, which has partnered with the Southwest Medical Foundation, has confirmations from several family members of those who perished in the crash. Judy Van Zant, widow of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, and Corrina Gaines, daughter of guitarist Steve Gaines and niece of backup singer Cassie Gaines, plan to attend the dedication.

Tickets are on sale now for a concert to be held Oct. 19 at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit.

Nuthin’ Fancy, a Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band from Florida will perform for an audience that includes crash survivors and their rescuers as well as medical personnel who helped save lives of those who were pulled from the wreckage.

Mark Howard, from left, Dwain Easley and Marc B Frank reflect on the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash

“They are one of the better cover bands in the country,” said Nelson.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Fine Arts Building.


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