Texas newlyweds die in helicopter crash

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2018

Haunting footage has emerged of the moments before a newlywed couple boarded a helicopter that crashed moments later, killing them on their wedding night.

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.

But just an hour and a half after being named husband and wife, the helicopter crashed into the side of a hill although it was not discovered until daybreak.

Also killed was pilot Gerald Douglas Lawrence, who Kennedy said served as a pilot during the Vietnam war.

The newlyweds were both in their final year at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

The video, obtained by CBS San Antonio affiliate KENS, shows the couple approaching the helicopter, which was taking them to their honeymoon.

"It's very rocky, rough terrain and this particular hill has a 400- or 500-foot rise", Kennedy said.

The tragic newlyweds - 24-year-olds William Troy Byler and Bailee Raye Ackerman Byler - are seen making their way toward the doomed chopper, passing a display of sparklers marking their path.

Investigators are assessing various factors, including weather, the pilot's history and the possibility of mechanical failure.

"Getting back there with a trailer and truck and people to lift the helicopter is going to be hard", Hatch said.

The cause of the crash hasn't been determined, but Mr Hatch said a preliminary NTSB report will be issued in about two weeks.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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