[NOTE: State Senator Shaw is a member of CAIR’s national board.]

A prominent member of the NC Legislative Black Caucus is counting his blessings in the aftermath of Sunday’s fatal wrong runway crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, Kentucky.

State Sen. Larry Shaw of Cumberland County was supposed to speaking at the University of Kentucky on Saturday, then flying back to North Carolina by way of Atlanta on the Sunday 6 a.m. flight from Blue Grass Airport. But in an exclusive interview with The Carolinian and Wilmington Journal newspapers Monday by phone, the still shaken six-term Fayetteville Democrat said he inexplicably canceled out of the engagement this time because he sensed something was wrong.

That premonition saved his life. The commuter flight he would have taken Sunday morning crashed on takeoff, killing all 47 passengers, and two of the three crew members.

It is the worst plane disaster in the United States since November 2001.

Though certainly sorrowful for the tragic loss of life, Sen. Shaw – who ironically is chairman of the State Senate’s Transportation Committee – is thankful, and believes it was God’s hand that stopped him from going on a trip that would have cost him his own.

“I have to take that as a message,” Shaw, sounding exasperated the day after, told The Carolinian/Wilmington Journal newspapers.

Sen. Shaw was booked for a speaking engagement at the University of Kentucky in Lexington on Saturday, August 26, His longtime friend, Dr. Ihsan A. Bagby, Muslim scholar and associate professor of Islamic Studies at UK, had invited Shaw, who is also Muslim, to be the keynoter at the annual Council on American Islamic Relations of Kentucky (CAIR-KY) banquet.

Several local and state dignitaries, including the mayor, were also expected to attend the event sponsored by the local chapter of the country’s leading and largest Muslim civil liberties group.

Dr. Bagby is the chairman of the Kentucky chapter.


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