Continental Flight 1713 Crash Location39.774444 -104.895833
BOISE -- Twenty-five years ago Thursday, a plane headed to Boise from Denver crashed on the runway, killing 28 people.
On November 15, 1987 Continental Flight 1713 left Stapleton International Airport in Denver headed to Boise. The McDonnell Douglas DC-9 never made it past the runway. The crash, which the NTSB later said was caused by a failure to de-ice properly, killed 28 people. Fifty-three more passengers and crew were injured.
Nick Ysursa was a husband, brother, son, and a father of two when he died in the crash. However, the memory of Ysursa still lives on in Boise.
"He was wonderful from what I knew, just completely amazing," said Nick Ysursa's son, Mick.
Mick Ysursa was 9-years-old when the crash happened. He was spending the night at a friend's house.
"The next morning I got home, and my aunt was there along with my mom and they broke the news to myself and my sister," Ysursa said. "Everybody was crying; there wasn't a dry eye there. But you don't' know what it really means. The impact of such an event doesn't really hit you for quite some time."
Ysursa's aunt, uncle, and father all died in the Continental Flight 1713 crash.
"It's tough to comprehend; it's confusing, and it's ... you're not really sure how to react, but you're overwhelmed with emotion," Mick Ysursa said.
Two years later, Ysursa realized he was not the only one still thinking about his father. In 1989, Bishop Kelly named the football field Nick Ysursa Field. Nick's football coach was there, too.
"I think it was a recognition of a student athlete who had contributed significantly to the school," said Nick Ysursa's football coach, Charles Forrestal.
Forrestal was Bishop Kelly's first head football coach. Nick Ysursa was quarterback Forrestal's final season--the year they were undefeated.
"He was a class person. As good an athlete and as good a student as he was, he was interested in everybody and had no great airs about himself. He was just one of the people whether they were in their office or in the classroom," said Forrestal. "He had my respect as a player and student and as a young man growing up."
Nick Ysursa's son Mick went on to play football at Bishop Kelly on the field named after his dad. During his senior year, school officials brought his father's number 11 jersey out of retirement for Mick to wear.
Mick Ysursa says he thinks about his dad every day.
Ysursa is now a father of two -- a boy and girl --just like his father Nick. He is thankful for the example his dad set.
"That day has shaped my life," Ysursa said. "But I think early on being a father was one of the most important things to me because I had such a great one, and then I was lucky enough to have a great stepfather, too later on. And taking all those memories and those feelings and trying to pass them on and just be there for my kids is going to be an exciting thing."
Mick Ysursa says the family support was a big part of his recovery. Every year, the family gets together on November 15 to pay their respects and relive happy memories of their loved ones who are gone.
Nick Ysursa was a three-sport athlete at Bishop Kelly. He went on to play baseball and basketball at Idaho State. He was also drafted to the Phillies minor league team after college, before going to work at Idaho Power.