SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WYFF) - An Upstate art teacher and an Upstate fitness trainer were among the seven people killed in a plane crash Friday in Alaska.
The Spartanburg County School District Six Facebook page said Dawkins Middle school art teacher, Heather Hulsey, died in a plane accident during a trip to Alaska.
Hulsey was 25 years old.
The full post from Dr. Darryl Owings District Six superintendent said:
“The District Six family is heartbroken after learning that a Dawkins Middle school art teacher, Heather Hulsey, passed away in a plane accident during a trip to Alaska. Heather was an inspiring teacher who had a tremendous impact on her students and colleagues. She was a wonderful person who was well-loved by our school community. Heather’s husband, Caleb Hulsey, his brother Mackay, and friend, Kirstin Wright, also passed away. The Hulsey family is strongly connected to our District Six family. This is a tragedy beyond words. We ask that you keep their families in your thoughts and prayers.”
Mackay Hulsey, 24, and his girlfriend Kirstin Wright, 23, were also killed.
They were both from South Carolina.
The Firm Fitness Center in Spartanburg said Hulsey was a trainer at the gym.
“Mackay Hulsey was a valued and loved personal trainer in our family,” the gym posted on Facebook. “Mackay’s girlfriend, Kirstin Wright, was a loved member of our family. RIP Mackay and Kirstin. Your smiling faces will be missed but never forgotten.”
Seven people were killed in the mid-air collision involving two aircrafts Friday morning, according to a news release from the Alaska Department of Public Safety.
According to the release, officials say just before 8:30 a.m. they received a report of a plane crash near the Sterling Highway.
The majority of the wreckage was located approximately 200 yards from the road. The crash was reported by multiple witnesses, officials said.
An investigation determined that two planes were involved in a mid-air collision; one plane had a single occupant and the other aircraft had six people onboard, officials said.
According to officials, all but one person was deceased on-scene. However, the initial survivor succumbed to injuries during transport to the local hospital.
Troopers identified Rep. Gary Knopp, 67, of Kenai, as the sole occupant of one plane.
The six from the other aircraft are identified as pilot Gregory Bell, 67, of Soldotna, guide David Rogers, 40, of Kansas; Caleb Hulsey, 26, Heather Hulsey, 25, Mackay Hulsey, 24, and Kirstin Wright, 23, all of South Carolina.
NTSB has been notified and will be conducting the investigation as to the cause of this crash.
"This is an unfathomable tragedy for multiple families today. The DPS sends a heartfelt condolence to all who lost a loved one in this mid-air collision," said Commissioner Amanda Price, Department of Public Safety.
“Troopers and partner agencies have worked together diligently at the scene and have reached out to next of kin to notify them of this heartbreaking incident.”