skip to nav skip to content
It sure doesn't seem possible but it was 20 years ago today that Reba McEntire lost seven band members along with her tour manager in a horrific plane accident. They were leaving San Diego and the plane's wing somehow clipped some rocks near a peak of Otay Mountain. Reba had actually skipped the flight, she had been sick and her husband had advisd her to stay and get a good night's sleep and fly out the next day.
Here is an excerpt from an interview she did with People Magazine shortly after the crash:
By far this is my darkest hour, the most awful thing that ever happened in my life. When you have eight people that you absolutely love and their lives are just wiped out—it's devastating.
When I first heard something had happened, it was 2:30 in the morning, and Narvel and I were in a sound sleep at our hotel in San Diego. Then the phone rings and our pilot says, "Narvel. please come to my room." And of course Narvel just started jerking on his clothes and his shoes. All he said was, "I think there's been an accident. Just go to sleep and I'll be back."
Of course I couldn't go back to sleep. Then Narvel came back and said one of the planes had gone down. It was a nightmare from then on. Yet there were hopes, prayers that there might be survivors.
Evidently, I was meant not to go on that plane and God has other things for me to do. Maybe it's because of our baby, Shelby. Maybe that's why Joe McGlohon wasn't on that plane either; his wife just had a baby. And Pete Finney, who was supposed to be on that plane. He switched with Michael Thomas at the last minute, and Michael died in the airplane crash and Pete is here with us today. There are reasons.
I can sleep now because I have some peace. I'll keep on flying. I'm not going to quit because there are too many opportunities that I have open to me. Staying busy is the best thing for all of us, and knowing that the families want us to go on because they know their family members in the band would want us to. I've got a real good calm about me now.
I sang "Sweet Dreams" in San Diego, but that might be the last time I sing it. When Vince Gill called me, I said, "Vince, I'm not ever going to turn around onstage again that they're going to be there. How am I going to turn around and see that they're gone?" It'll never be the same without my family. I'll have a new family, and I'll accept them and love them. But those people will be very special in my heart forever.
This is a beautiful tribute video to those people who were like family to her.