A newlywed couple in Texas died in a helicopter crash as they left their wedding reception early Sunday.
ABC News reported that Will Troy Byler and Bailee Raye Ackerman Byler, both 24, had been married for less than two hours when the helicopter they were in crashed about in Uvalde, about 15 miles from the groom’s family ranch. The pilot, Gerald Green Lawrence, 76, was also killed in Sunday’s wreck.
Video shot by guests show the couple walking to the helicopter while surrounded by fireworks and loved ones cheering them on.
NTSB investigating crash Sunday of a Bell 206B in Uvalde, TX.
— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) November 4, 2018
A Facebook post by the Houstonian, a student-run newspaper at San Antonio University, mourned the Bylers’ deaths and identified them as seniors at the college.
The pilot’s stepdaughter went on to tell KTRK that Lawrence was a captain in the army and served in Vietnam. She claimed he had flown the route multiple times. Moreover, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Craig Hatch described him as being a “highly-qualified pilot,” according to ABC News.
Citing the National Transportation Safety Board, KTRK reported that the helicopter crashed in a mountainous region, making it difficult for crews to retrieve the wreckage, which Hatch said was scattered over 100 yards.
Officials said the small aircraft was in the air for five minutes before tragedy struck.
NTSB said it’s too early to determine what caused the crash and that a report should be available in about two weeks.
[Featured Image: Will Byler and Bailee Ackerman Byler/Facebook]