LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Sorrow and remembrance continue to hang over the memorial near the Feu Follet post office in Lafayette as residents in the area recall the tragic plane crash that killed five people on Dec. 28, 2019.
The plane left Lafayette headed to Atlanta for the 2019 Peach Bowl featuring LSU and Oklahoma.
News 10 visited the crash site on the three-year anniversary and spoke to a woman who remembers the tragic event.
“I was inside my home, and I heard this loud boom. It felt almost like the Earth shook,” Lou Ann Gerard said.
A retired registered nurse, Gerard says her first instinct was to run outside and see if she could help.
“I saw the clouds of black smoke coming up near the post office,” she recalls.
Gerard says what began as a quiet morning in her neighborhood turned into a nightmare, as her neighbors poured out of their homes, trying to figure out what was happening.
The plane took out power lines and struck a nearby occupied vehicle where the driver had to be taken to the hospital.
Video and pictures showed a trail of scorched and burning grass around the crash site. The blackened car was parked in the post office parking lot, which was carpeted with scattered tree limbs. Witnesses described the sounds of explosions, people screaming, and sights of black smoke and flames.
Five people died in the crash, including a 15-year-old boy.
“I would never have thought this would have happened at our quiet little post office down the street,” Gerard added.
Now three years later, a memorial sits in the field where the plane crashed as a reminder of what happened here and a tribute to the five people killed.
“I think about it every time I drive down Feu Follet because I see the shrine down there that’s kept up in memory of the people that lost their lives,” Gerard said.
While years may pass, the people who were impacted this day say they will never forget.
“I hope nothing like that ever happens again. It was a tragic thing,” Gerard added.
The NTSB released its final report on the crash in May this year. The report determined that the probable cause of the crash was, “the pilot’s loss of control of the airplane due to spatial disorientation during the initial climb.” The report says the plane was only in the air for one minute before it crashed.
News 10 spoke with the lone survivor of the crash on the three-year anniversary. He says he is spending the day with his family.