NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Ed Cushman, a North Carolina man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, was on his way to Atlanta for the Super Bowl Saturday (Feb. 2), after scoring tickets to the big game with help from Team Gleason, when the minivan he was traveling caught fire.
Cushman, 39, perished in the fire, according to Clare Durrett of Team Gleason.
His father and older brother, Rob Cushman, were also in the van when it started smoking on a Georgia highway. The two men got out of the van before it caught fire, and were injured trying to rescue Ed Cushman from the flames, Durrett said.
In a public Facebook post, Cushman’s brother called his death a “freak accident,” and said the family is hurting, but grateful Cushman is no longer in pain.
Team Gleason released the following statement, calling Cushman’s death a tragedy and saying the organization stands by his family.
"All of us at Team Gleason are deeply saddened after learning about the tragedy that resulted in the loss of Ed Cushman’s life. Our brief relationship with Eds family was filled with excitement, as Team Gleason secured the ADA Super Bowl tickets he requested. Like so many with ALS, Ed was passionate about living and he dreamed of going to the Super Bowl. We were honored to have played a small role in helping make that possible for such an amazing man.
Words cannot express how shocked we are for Ed and his entire family. We remain committed to our ALS community and Ed’s family in this time of incredible sadness."