MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Mississippi lawmakers and local leaders are mourning the loss of a former state senator who was killed in a plane crash in Arkansas Wednesday.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said John Morgan, 76, of Oxford was piloting the plane when it crashed after leaving University-Oxford Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration said the wreckage was found at 3:36 p.m.

Morgan served as a state senator for eight years and a Lafayette County supervisor for several terms. He also founded the Morgan White Insurance Group in 1987, where he often held nonpartisan political events known as “Good Ol’ Boys and Gals” events. 

Johnny Morgan served as Mississippi senator from 1984-1992

The sheriff’s office said the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will arrive Thursday to assume responsibility of the investigation. Morgan will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to confirm identification.

Social media is exploding with posts about the former senator who they say was a fantastic businessman, a great friend, and a proud graduate of the University of Mississippi. 

They say this loss will be felt in his hometown of Oxford and throughout the entire state. 

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves reacted to the news of Morgan’s death Wednesday night, saying, “Johnny Morgan was perhaps the most fiercely loyal person I ever met. “If he was with you….. He was WITH you!” He loved Ole Miss, MS politics, – and life! Elee and I are devastated!”

In a Twitter post, State Attorney General Lynn Fitch expressed her condolences to Morgan’s family and friends.

“Like so many this evening, I am heartbroken that Mississippi has lost a great friend, statesman, and public servant – Johnny Morgan. My prayers and deepest sympathies to his family and friends,” she said.

Read more statements from Mississippi state leaders below:

Mississippi Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann (R)

“Yesterday evening, my friend Johnny Morgan and I visited in Oxford. Today, he is the victim of a tragic accident. Our State and Johnny’s legions of friends have lost laughter, a warm smile, a brilliant businessman, and a community and political leader. So very sad.”

State Senator Daniel Sparks (R – District 5)

“Had the opportunity to spend about 20 minutes with Johnny last night and be regaled with one more set of stories from a legend. Prayers of comfort for his family, Johnny Morgan, you will be sorely missed.”

Former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R)

“Johnny Morgan was an innovator, great businessman, and a friend. When you were with him, he made you feel like you were his best friend and he infected everyone he met with his laughter and joy. RIP my friend.”

Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker (R)

“Mississippi has lost a larger-than-life citizen and public servant, and I have lost a life-long friend. Johnny Morgan left his mark and leaves a void. A sad day.”