HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Hattiesburg leaders held a news conference on Thursday to discuss the investigation into a deadly plane crash.
Alex Lemisko with NTSB said they will spend the next couple of days at the scene. It could take the agency about two weeks to release a preliminary report.
“The goal of being on scene is to collect any perishable information regarding the accident, and we are being very sensitive to the mayor’s office and the local authorities in conducting our investigation,” said Lemisko.
Gerry Standley, who was a father and pastor, lost his life when the plane crashed into his home Tuesday night. Three people onboard the plane also died. They were on their way to a graduation ceremony at the University of Southern Mississippi.
A church member from Wayside Holy Temple, who knew Standley, said he meant a lot to the community.
“He meant the world to the community. He was a strong family man. He loved his church home and loved his community. His example spoke volumes of what it means to be godly man,” said Marion Hughes.
Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker spoke of how resilient the community is during this challenging time.
“Every time our city is faced with a challenge, the best of us will show up, whether the anniversary we will remember a couple from now or two tornadoes or pandemic. When we are faced with adversity, our city steps up.”
NTSB is still investigating the cause of the plane crash at this time. They advised everyone to stay out of the area and avoid the crash site as the investigation continues.