North Carolina Duck Hunters Die in Plane Crash

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

The crash victims include four teenage boys attending an annual youth and veteran hunting event

A plane carrying a group of waterfowl hunters, including four teens, crashed near the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Sunday, Feb. 13. All of the plane’s occupants died in the crash, and their bodies have been located.

The News & Observer reports that divers recovered the bodies during a three-day search. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Pilatus PC-12 plane went down 4 miles east of Drum Inlet after behaving erratically on radar.

Outsider reports that among the crash victims is businessman Hunter Parks, who hosted the youth-veteran waterfowl hunt on his Lake Mattamuskeet-area property. Parks’ girlfriend, Stephanie Fulcher; her son Kole McInnis; and his three teen friends, Jake Taylor, Dailey Shepherd, and Noah Styron are also among the victims.

Fulcher had shared photos of the boys eating lunch on the plane before takeoff with the caption, “Blessed to have a successful Youth/Veteran duck hunt again this year!”

All four boys attended East Carteret High School.

Carteret County Public School District said in statement, “We are incredibly saddened [by the news]. We join with the Down East and Eastern North Carolina community as we await official word on the airplane crash off the coast of Drum Inlet, North Carolina. Crisis teams are on school campuses to support students, staff and families.”

The identities of the pilot and remaining passenger had not been made public.

Tom Harrison, a partner at Mattamuskeet Ventures, recognized his friend and business partner Hunter Parks as being a kind and devoted person.

“Whatever he did, he poured himself into it,” Harrison said. “He was extremely kind and generous and wanted everybody to be happy. He was a problem solver, an intermediary, and just a great partner, a great friend, and a great guy.”

According to his mission statement, Parks hosted the annual waterfowl hunt to help youth reconnect with nature.

“It’s a way of giving back to veterans and a way of preserving our heritage with young men and being positive role models, and getting them outside and disconnecting them from electronics,” he wrote.

A Core Sound Family Fund has been established for the victims’ families. Funds received will help with expenses and other needs relating to this tragic accident.

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