Feb. 14, 2009


By Ryan Powell
NCAA Double-A Zone Blog

The crash of Continental flight 3407 claimed the lives of two former student athletes, Lorin Maurer and Madeline (Maddy) Loftus. Maurer was an intern at the NCAA National Office in 2003-04, and worked in the Princeton athletics department. Loftus played Division III hockey for Buffalo State and St. Mary's University in Minnesota.

They were among 50 people killed when their commuter plane crashed into a Buffalo house while on its final approach to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The twin turboprop aircraft went down in light snow and fog around 10:20 p.m., about five miles short of the airport. It was the nation's first deadly crash of a commercial airliner in two and a half years.

Maurer joined the Princeton athletics department in 2005 to work in a newly-created position, which was a joint venture between the athletics department and university development.

Princeton athletics officials reported Mauer's death in a statement Friday.

"We are stunned, grief-stricken and angry that someone so young and full of promise and vitality was taken from us so suddenly and unexpectedly," Princeton Director of Athletics Gary Walters said. "We can only think that we never appreciate what we have until it is taken from us."

Before coming to Princeton, Maurer worked at the Mountain West Conference as the assistant director of marketing. She was a 2001 graduate of Rowan University where she majored in health and exercise science and participated on the swimming and diving team, serving as captain her senior year. Following graduation, Maurer obtained a master's in sport management from the University of Florida. It was at Florida where Maurer began working in intercollegiate athletics as an intern in women's administration.

Loftus was heading to Buffalo for a weekend reunion of the college's women's ice hockey team. She played two seasons for Buffalo State before transferring to St. Mary's University in Minnesota where she played hockey from 2004 to 2006. Loftus was also instrumental in starting the Cardinal Athletic Council, which represents student-athletes and is active in community service projects.

"We are deeply saddened at the news of the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of so many, including one of our own," said SMU athletic director Nikki Fennern. "Madeline was an important part of the university and athletic communities. Our thoughts and prayers now turn to Madeline's family, friends and teammates as they cope with this sudden loss."

The NCAA extends our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those lost in this tragic accident.