Cal Poly

Cal Poly football plane crash survivor Ross dies

Billy Ross, a survivor of the 1960 plane crash that killed 16 members of the Cal Poly football team, has died at age 78.

A university statement says Ross died Monday in Bakersfield. The cause of death was not released.

Ross was an offensive tackle on the 1959 and 1960 Mustang football teams. He was 25 when the team’s flight crashed at the Toledo, Ohio, airport on Oct. 29, 1960. Sixteen teammates and six other people were killed.

Ross was among 26 survivors but suffered severe burns and spent seven months in a Toledo-area hospital for skin grafts and rehabilitation.

Ross graduated from Cal Poly in 1963 and became a high school teacher and football coach until severe foot pain from crash injuries forced him out of coaching.

Ross and the rest of the 1960 football team were inducted into the Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.

A memorial services will be held Feb.  1 in Bakersfield. For more information, call Basham Funeral Care in Bakersfield at 873-8200.