Young couple, both 23, killed just hours after their wedding as family helicopter crashes into hill
As the helicopter lifted off from Will's family ranch, the guests present at the venue cheered for the couple. However, tragedy struck when the chopper crashed into a hill.
A young Texas couple's fairytale wedding was cut short after their family helicopter crashed, killing the bride and groom just hours after the ceremony.
Reports state that the couple, Will Byler and Bailee Ackerman, both seniors at Sam Houston State University, died early on Sunday morning, along with the pilot.
As the helicopter lifted off from Will's family ranch on Saturday night, the guests present at the venue cheered for the couple. However, tragedy struck when the chopper crashed into a hill just a mile away from the ranch, nearly an hour-and-a half later.
It is not yet known whether the couple was heading for another location in the chopper or were being taken on a tour, according to the Daily Mail.
The tragic news was first shared by one of the wedding guests Eric Smith, who took to Facebook and wrote: "The pilot, Jerry, was also on board. There were no survivors." Smith added that the ceremony was like a fairytale wedding and that the couple, in their final hours, was surrounded by friends and family before they boarded the helicopter.
The groom's grandfather, William Byler, while talking to ABC13 confirmed that the helicopter crashed outside of Uvalde, Texas.
Shortly after the accident, multiple search units were dispatched, including the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, game wardens, Border Patrol agents, the Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department and Uvalde Emergency Medical Services. The teams found the wreckage around daybreak, according to reports.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) confirmed the crash on Sunday morning and said an investigation has been launched into the crash of the Bell 2016 helicopter in Uvalde. The agency said that it would not reveal further information about the crash until Monday.
Tragic young Texas students are killed just HOURS after getting married https://t.co/zVS1fctSdP— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) November 5, 2018
The bride's maid of honor, Jessica Stilley, also paid a heartbreaking tribute to her best friend and said: "My sweet Bailee Raye, my heart is broken in a million little pieces as I sit here and think of the rest of my life without my best friend. I'm so sad to even be captioning these pictures with this, but you know I just have to share with everyone how beautiful you looked on your wedding day like I normally would have."
Stilley also recalled how happy she was when she was getting her best friend ready for her biggest day and also wrote a post about it: "I'm so happy you married the man of your dreams and found the precious love you deserved with him. We always said we'd find the men to sweep us off our feet one day and boy am I'm so happy you get to be with him in the best forever you could imagine. Thank you for loving me."