Dec 22, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions helmet during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field. Falcons won 31-18. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Former Detroit Lion Survives as Plane Crashes Into House

Kole Heckendorf’s NFL career was unremarkable. He went undrafted in 2009 and bounced around between a few teams, including a stint on the Detroit Lions practice squad in 2009.

But Heckendorf has a remarkable story beyond the football field despite a record-setting collegiate career at North Dakota State.

From the Dickinson Press:

Former North Dakota State University wide receiver Kole Heckendorf had just come home from a golf tournament Friday with his brother-in-law Jeff Hille, a former pitcher for the Bison baseball team.

Hille and a friend left Heckendorf alone in the house around 8:15 p.m. The record-breaking wide receiver walked upstairs to his bedroom.

About 15 minutes later, a small plane crashed into the house, knocking Heckendorf off his feet.

At first, Heckendorf suspected some paint thinner he left in the garage had exploded. Then he looked outside and saw the flames.

According to the report, the house was owned by Hille, with Heckendorf and his wife set to move into their own home in the coming weeks. The crash and resulting fire destroyed furniture the couple was storing at the home ahead of their move.

Despite the loss of material things, Heckendorf knows it could have been worse.

I’m blessed to still be here, that’s for sure.

The two passengers in the plan died and the crash is under investigation.

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