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Journalist killed by propeller

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A sports writer for a Delaware newspaper was killed when he was struck by an airplane propeller at the Richmond International Airport, officials said Saturday.

Ed Murphy of Wyoming, Del., a reporter for The News Journal in Wilmington, was in Richmond to cover Delaware State in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference women's basketball tournament when the accident occurred shortly before midnight Friday.

Airport spokesman Troy Bell said Murphy, 46, was a passenger in a small private airplane. He said Murphy got out of the Cessna 172 to remove the blocks from under the airplane's nose wheel so it could take off for the trip home.

"At that point, he got in the path of the propeller and suffered the injury," Bell said. He said airplane propellers can be almost invisible late at night. The Cessna 172 is a single-engine aircraft with a propeller at the nose.

Bell said Murphy died before airport rescue personnel arrived.

Murphy began working for The News Journal part time in 1980 and became a full-time reporter in 1997. He covered Delaware State and high school athletics during his career.

"Ed has been a part of The News Journal family for more than a decade, and we all are mourning," said Deborah Henley, executive editor. "Readers have long appreciated Ed's commitment to our coverage of Delaware State University sports and high school athletics. He will be missed by us all, colleagues and readers."