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11 killed in 2011 crash at Reno air races honored

2:43 PM, Sep 16, 2012   |    comments
P-51 Mustang crashes at National Championship Air Races in Reno, Sept. 16, 2011. Photo courtesy Reno Gazette-Journal
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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Spectators and racers paid tribute Sunday to 11 people who were killed when a plane crashed into box seats at last year's Reno National Championship Air Races.

 A moment of silence was held on the anniversary of the accident at Reno-Stead Airport for pilot Jimmy Leeward and 10 victims on the ground.

The emotional ceremony before a crowd of tens of thousands also featured the release of white balloons and a flag presentation after each victim's name was read.

 Among the injured in attendance were members of a Kansas family. The crash killed 73-year-old Cherie Elvin, of Lenexa, Kan., while her husband, Chuck, two sons and daughter-in-law lost part of their legs.

 Leeward's P-51 Mustang fighter reached 530 mph before it pitched skyward and then slammed nose-first into box seats.


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