Newlyweds killed in helicopter crash hours after wedding
UVALDE, Texas (AP) — A federal official says a helicopter carrying a young couple who were married just hours earlier crashed into a rocky hillside five to 10 minutes after takeoff from a Texas ranch.
Craig Hatch, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said during a news conference Monday that wreckage is strewn across the hillside that rises above rugged terrain about 80 miles west of San Antonio.
Uvalde County Justice of the Peace Steven Kennedy says William Byler and Bailee Ackerman Byler, both 24, were killed in the wreck, which occurred late Saturday or early Sunday.
Also killed was pilot Gerald Douglas Lawrence, who Kennedy said served as a pilot during the Vietnam war. The helicopter was owned by the family of William Byler and Lawrence had been a pilot for the family for years.
Kennedy says the couple was supposed to be flown to San Antonio where they were to get a flight for their honeymoon destination.
Hatch says it’s too early to determine what caused the crash but that a preliminary NTSB report will be issued in about two weeks.