Louisiana crash Image Credit: Twitter/AP

Louisiana: A sports reporter related to a Louisiana State University football coach was among the five people who died on their way to the team's playoff game on Saturday after a small plane crashed in Lafayette, Louisiana, authorities said.

The reporter, Carley McCord, 30, was a daughter-in-law of Steve Ensminger, the offensive coordinator for LSU. She and the other passengers were heading to Atlanta, where top-ranked LSU defeated Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl on Saturday for a spot in the national championship game.

Ed Orgeron, the head coach for LSU, said in a pregame interview with ESPN that Ensminger and his family were distraught. Ensminger still coached the game and was shown on television calling plays from the booth.

"Steve's a Tiger; he's a man; he knows how to handle things," Orgeron said before the game, which LSU won handily, 63-28.

McCord covered football and basketball as a freelance reporter for Cox Sports Television, ESPN 3 and WDSU, a television station in New Orleans, according to her website. She also had worked as a digital media reporter for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and as an in-game host, an emcee role, at games for the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans.

All of the plane's passengers appeared to have been flying to Atlanta for the game, said Alton Trahan, a spokesman for the Lafayette Fire Department.

The plane crashed into the parking lot of a post office shortly before 9.30am, less than 2 miles from the Lafayette Regional Airport, where it had taken off. The crash sent chunks of metal into a nearby field and flames billowing near mail trucks.

An exterior wall of the post office was left blackened. The site of the crash was near several apartment complexes, restaurants and other businesses. Nearby residents said that their lights went out after they heard the crash.

In addition to McCord, authorities identified the victims as Ian E. Biggs, 51, the pilot; Robert Vaughn Crisp II, 59; Gretchen D. Vincent, 51; and Michael Walker Vincent, 15.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash.