Who Was Devyn Reiley? Two-Time Super Bowl Champ Bruce Collie's Pilot Daughter Killed in Plane Crash at Oshkosh Air Show

Reiley, the eldest of Bruce Collie's 13 children and a former San Francisco 49er, was deeply captivated by aviation, according to her younger sister.

  • Updated

The 30-year-old pilot daughter of Super Bowl champion Bruce Collie died along with her co-pilot when their WW2-era T-6 Texan aircraft crashed into a lake near the Oshkosh air show. Two other people died in a separate helicopter crash on the same day. Both crashes happened during an airshow in Wisconsin over the weekend.

Collie's daughter Devyn Reiley, 30, and her co-pilot Zach Colliemoreno, 20, were piloting a World War II-era T-6 Texan during the AirVenture Oshkosh airshow. Unfortunately, the aircraft crashed into Lake Winnebago at around 9 am on Saturday, just five minutes after takeoff, as reported by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).

Unfortunate Death

Devyn Reiley
Devyn Reiley Twitter

According to eyewitness accounts, the vintage aircraft started spiraling downward before ultimately crashing into Lake Winnebago. Prior to the crash, the plane had reached an altitude of 3,900 feet before plummeting into the lake.

"I thought they were doing a trick at first," said Brayden Hiebing, who had been fishing in the lake when the plane crashed, told NBC.

"I heard the plane start coming out of the sky, and it started like spinning and all of a sudden it just made a big splash," said Hiebing.

The US Coast Guard launched a search operation in the lake that same afternoon, and divers retrieved the bodies of both pilots in the evening, as confirmed in a tweet from the branch.

Devyn Reiley
Devyn Reiley Twitter

As of now, an investigation is underway to ascertain the cause of the first plane crash.

Reiley's husband, Hunter, was accompanying her at the event in Wisconsin. They co-owned a flight school based in Texas together.

The couple had recently celebrated their third wedding anniversary on July 26 before the tragic incident took place.

"All you wanted was to make the wasp proud. You earned your 'Fifi' wings," Hunter wrote in a Facebook tribute to his wife.

The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) was a civilian women's pilot association formed during World War II to contribute to the war effort.

Devyn Reiley
Devyn Reiley Twitter

Reiley, the eldest of Bruce Collie's 13 children and a former San Francisco 49er, was deeply captivated by aviation, according to her younger sister. She had an enchanting fascination with flying and was passionately involved in the field.

"She was the older sister that was the one, everybody looked up to her," Calyn Collie, 21, told the San Antonio Express. "Her love of aviation was always so evident from a young age."

Families Shocked and Heartbroken

The San Francisco 49ers selected Bruce Collie in the 1985 NFL Draft, and he went on to win two Super Bowls with the team in 1989 and 1990. He was later traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and retired from professional football in 1991.

Devyn Reiley
Devyn Reiley Twitter

Reiley became a certified private pilot in 2017 and had plans to become a certified commercial pilot, as reported by the Texas Warbird Museum, a nonprofit organization she co-founded with her husband and family. The museum's mission is to preserve retired WWII-era military aircraft, reflecting her profound passion for aviation.

The second crash took place on an airfield close to the airshow location, shortly after midday.

During the incident, a helicopter piloted by Mark Peterson, a 69-year-old instructor and engineer from Alabama, was struck from below by a gyrocopter, resulting in the helicopter catching fire.

Tragically, both Mark Peterson and his passenger Thomas Volz, a 72-year-old from Amelia, Ohio, lost their lives in the accident.

Volz, a cancer survivor, and an Air Force veteran, was at the airshow with his grandson when the accident took place. His wife of 52 years, Patty, shared this information with Fox 19.

"They tell me they never knew what happened," said Patty. "It hit and burst into flames and it went straight down."

Bruce Collie
Bruce Collie Twitter

Patty was informed by her grandson about Volz's death. "He said, 'I hate to tell you this, Grammy, but Babi has passed away' - that's what they called him," she said.

"I just screamed and said, 'No, he's not! No, he's not!'"

According to Patty, Peterson was a highly skilled and experienced helicopter pilot who had earned the trust and respect of many. "It was a horrific accident. They were hit by a gyrocopter from underneath as they were coming in to land," she said.

AirVenture is one of the largest aviation events in the country, attracting over 600,000 attendees and featuring approximately 10,000 planes.