North Carolina plane crashes, 4 high school students among the dead. State in shock


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North Carolina residents are in shock after a plane carrying eight people crashed Sunday off the coast of North Carolina.

Jacob Nolan Taylor, 16 and Michael Daily Shepard 15, respectively; Noah Lee Styron and Jonathan Kole McInnis were among the eight victims in the crash. 

“When I thought about how great it was to have our sister high schools supporting us during this time of tragedy, my first thought was, ‘We are Carteret Strong!’ But, to see that wave of support that started at West Carteret to grow to the level that it has across the state and other places means a lot to our staff, students, and families at East Carteret,” the high school’s principal, Jay Westbrook, said in a Wednesday statement.

He said, “We are glad there are many Mariners in our community, the region and the state today.”

According to the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office the group was returning home from a hunting trip, when the plane crashed into Atlantic Ocean. The other victims were pilot Ernest Rawls (67); his son Jeffrey Rawls (28); Stephanie McInnis Fulcher (42); and Douglas Parks (45).
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A Wednesday tweet from the East Carteret High School Basketball team included prayers for the students, faculty and families of the boys.

“No one can expect to go to school Monday without four of their classmates,” the team tweeted. Together we will get through this,” the team tweeted along with a picture of the boys hunting.

The Reimage Church in Winterville released a statement on behalf of the Rawls’ family confirming their deaths, according to FOX 8 Greensboro.

“With heavy hearts, on behalf of the Rawls family, we regret to confirm that Ernest ‘Teen’ Rawls and Jeffrey Rawls were on board the aircraft that crashed on the afternoon of Sunday, February 13th,” the church said. We don’t grieve like those without hope. But our trust and hope remain in God and we look to Him while we mourn the loss of the Rawls and other families.

The family thanked the U.S. Coast Guard and Carteret Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in the search operation. They extended their condolences and prayers to all families affected by the tragedy.

The plane – a single-engine Pilatus PC-12/47 – crashed into the Atlantic approximately 18 miles northeast of Michael J.
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Smith Field in Beaufort, North Carolina, about 2 p.m. local time Sunday, according to an email from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A preliminary accident notification on the FAA’s website noted that the aircraft “crashed into water under unknown circumstances.”

Although the victims are not yet officially identified by medical examiners the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office has suspended its search Wednesday for passengers after recovering the remains of the victims and parts of the plane on Wednesday. 

After authorities found the first body, Asa Buck from Carteret County stated that there was no evidence that anyone survived.

Officials in Carteret County said that they examined the remains of the passengers and then took them to East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine.


The sheriff’s office stated that they asked the community to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers.

The Core Sound Museum created a fund to help the families of victims.
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This report was contributed by Louis Casiano, Fox News’s Louis Casiano, and The Associated Press. 

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