Counselors work to help those affected by Hattiesburg plane crash

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Three days after a deadly plane crash in Hattiesburg, area counselors are working to provide assistance to neighbors. Four people were killed when the plane crashed Tuesday night.

Connie Bienvenu is the coordinator of the Mobile Crisis Team at Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources. Members of the team are working to provide grief counseling services for neighbors.

“People may not realize that their experiencing symptoms related to that event such as depression, anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder,” Bienvenu explained. She encouraged neighbors who are struggling to get help.

“What that looks like is maybe problems sleeping, loss of appetite, or even trigger warnings such as sound, smells, sights, and we encourage everybody to reach out for help and talk about what’s going on.”

Dalton Smith, who lives in the Irene Chapel community, said he was at home when the plane crashed.

“I was sitting there watching TV, and all of sudden the light flickered and the cable went off, and after that, you couldn’t get down here if you wanted to,” he said.

Smith said most of the homes on Annie Christie Lane were built more than 10 years ago, including the one Gerry Standley lived in. Standley was one of the victims in the plane crash.

“Most of the houses in this area were built by the Habitat for Humanity, especially the one that got tore up, that was one of the first ones they built in this area,” Smith explained.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), it will take two weeks to put together the initial crash report. At the time, Annie Christie Lane remains closed as investigators are working to figure how the plane crashed.

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