Tragedy struck Wednesday when a North Carolina Army Reservist died after his plane crashed into a semi on Interstate-85 near Lexington.
According to the New York Post, the Army reservist, identified as Raymond John Ackley, died at the scene. Piloting a twin-engine Beechcraft Barron, the Federal Aviation Administration reported Ackley’s craft slammed into a tractor-trailer as it headed southbound on I-85 near the Davidson County Airport. The outlet reports the nasty crash created a small fire at the scene.
Additionally, the report stated the plane had been taking off from the nearby airport but had lost altitude.
In regard to the driver, outlets state he received minor injuries and received transport to a Winston-Salem hospital for treatment.
Following confirmation of the serviceman’s death, a spokesman for the National Guard shared that Ackley had “served honorably” during his deployments. The spokesman added that he’d been well-respected by all who knew him.
As per the Charlotte Observer, Ackley joined NC’s National Guard in 2009, serving in both Kuwait and Afghanistan on active deployments.
For now, there have been few details released regarding the crash itself. However, the FAA revealed its plans to investigate the incident, remaining vague regarding other pertinent details.
Eight People Killed in Plane Crash Off North Carolina Coast
In another NC plane crash, a group of eight people, including four teens, died on a recent duck hunting trip.
Last weekend, the small plane, a Pilatus PC-12, went down four miles east of Drum Inlet, the U.S. Coast Guard reporting the aircraft had been behaving “erratically” on radar before it finally crashed into the water.
Later in the week, recovery efforts following the plane crash remained active, however, rescuers recovered just one body. As of Wednesday, rescue teams found zero evidence of any survivors.
News of the plane’s violent crash came shortly after one of its passengers, Stephanie Fulcher, posted photos of the group of teens on board the aircraft and having lunch.
“Blessed to have a successful Youth/Veteran duck hunt again this year!” she wrote.
Alongside Fulcher, the plane carried her boyfriend and waterfowl hunter Hunter Parks, Fulcher’s son Kole McInnis, as well as three of the teen’s friends. The other youth passengers included Jake Taylor, Dailey Shepherd, and Noah Styron. The four teenagers attended East Carteret High School.
Coast Guard Continues Search and Recovery Efforts
The likelihood of the group of passengers surviving the crash is incredibly slim, however, the U.S. Coast Guard continued recovery efforts well into the week.
The Coast Guard deployed boats and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to search the area near where the craft took place beginning on Sunday. Monday saw the addition of a Coast Guard C-130 fixed-wing craft.
While locating sunken aircrafts “can be very difficult,” Coast Guard spokesman Edward Wargo said, “We’re well equipped to provide adequate search efforts…This is something the Coast Guard trains for, and we’ve experienced this before.”