CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Union County woman was among two people who died in a two-person Navy training plane crash in Alabama on Friday, the U.S. Navy confirmed.
The U.S. Navy says 24-year-old Ensign Morgan Garrett, from Weddington, N.C., was on the U.S. Navy T-6B Texan II trainer aircraft traveling from Florida that crashed in an Alabama residential neighborhood near the Gulf Coast, killing both people in the plane. No civilians were injured in the crash.
Garrett was a student aviator with the U.S. Coast Guard, according to the U.S. Navy.
Garrett took off from Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Florida, on a routine training flight with U.S. Navy Lt. Rhiannon Ross, 30, from Wixom, Michigan.
Navy spokesman Zach Harrell says both people in the T-6B Texan II training plane died Friday.
“Their spirit, friendship, and devotion to their country will not be forgotten,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement.
Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby told news outlets that responders encountered and extinguished a “large volume of fire” that had engulfed a home and cars.
The crash occurred near the city of Foley and the town of Magnolia Springs.
A Navy spokeswoman says the plane had flown out of Naval Air Station Whiting Field, about 30 miles northeast of Pensacola.
According to Military.com, Garrett was a 2019 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, where she served as regimental activities officer and was a middle distance runner on the track and field team, according to a message to cadets and family members from Superintendent Rear Adm. Bill Kelly.
She graduated high school from Weddington High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society and captain of her track and cross-country teams, and she finished sixth in the state in 2015 in the 4 x 800 relay, according to Military.com.
Allen Osborne, one of Garrett’s neighbors in Weddington who watched her grow up, spoke to WBTV in an interview Monday night.
Osborne described Garrett as a ‘very outgoing, good looking child’ and added that she was also very athletic. He explained that he had known the woman to have driven cars, tractors, motorcycles, and jet skis. The neighbor explained that he thought Garrett had a long career ahead of her.
“We’re in shock you know. We expected her to come home for the holidays next month and I mean Christmastime she gets home and that isn’t going to be happening,” said Osborne.
The Navy is now investigating the crash. Osborne explained that he is surprised that the crash even happened.
“(We) certainly didn’t see it turning out this way,” said the neighbor. “It’s the inherit dangers of flying sometimes, but we don’t understand what happened.”