A family was killed in a plane crash in Georgia when the single-engine, six-seat Piper PA-32 went down in Atlanta. According to the Huffington Post, Grady “Greg” Byrd, 53, a Buncombe County, North Carolina reserve deputy was piloting the plane when it plummeted to the ground and exploded. At this time, it is unknown what caused the plane to go down. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are currently investigating.
JUST IN: Buncombe Co. Sheriff’s Office says Reserve Deputy Grady “Greg” Byrd was killed in the plane crash on I-285. pic.twitter.com/GXTgHU48ul
— FOX 5 Atlanta (@FOX5Atlanta) May 8, 2015
Greg was killed, as were his two sons, Phillip, 26, and Christopher, 27, and Christopher’s fiancée, 27-year-old Jackie Kulzer. A dog, believed to be a family pet, was also killed in the crash.
The family involved in the plane crash were on their way to a college graduation at the University of Mississippi.
The plane left North Carolina on Friday morning and arrived safely in Atlanta about an hour later. The plane was refueled, and more people were picked up. Shortly after take off, Greg was reportedly heard saying, “We’re going down.” Moments later, the small plane crashed on I-285. It “clipped a truck” before exploding, leaving a fiery scene that caused major traffic backup for hours.
“It was his on-call weekend and he was excited to go to his brother’s graduation. They had this trip planned so I swapped with him to be able to make the trip so he wouldn’t have to be bothered with work,” said Christopher’s co-worker, Nicholas Bowman.
Please avoid I-285 on the top end — traffic is shut down in both directions due to this plane crash. pic.twitter.com/vBq60ro3HS
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) May 8, 2015
The family killed in the plane crash is being remembered today. According to WYFF 4, funeral services were set to take place this morning. It is believed that all of the deceased were being buried at the same time, and likely at the same location.
“Greg was a very professional, dedicated public servant that continued to serve his community in a Reserve Deputy role after his full time employment with the Sheriff’s Office. This is a tremendous loss for his family, this Sheriff’s Office and the community,” Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan said.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, there was a moment of silence at the graduation that the Byrd’s and Jackie were slated to attend. Chris and Jackie were planning to wed in October.
[Photo via CBS/Twitter]