GILLESPIE COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Two people are dead after a plane crash Sunday in Gillespie County, including a 9-year-old girl.
The Department of Public Safety says the plane crashed into a pasture about 1 mile south of Stonewall just before 7 p.m. Shane Lee Buck, 39, was flying his Rans Coyote II plane with a 9-year-old girl riding along. Both died at the scene.
Authorities haven’t named the little girl, but Fredericksburg ISD says she was a fourth-grade student at Fredericksburg Elementary and that grief counselors were on site all day Monday.
Neighbors of the pilot say they were shocked to hear the news and saw children playing in the backyard just last week.
“I could always sort of see them through their fence over there playing and laughing, but the children always seemed to get along really, really well. Lots of laughter that would come out of that backyard. I feel like that was a very, very happy family,” said Buck’s neighbor Natasha Grau.
Locals in Stonewall say Buck was renting a hanger less than a mile from where he crashed the plane. KXAN spoke to the owners of the private hanger, AeroBurg, who said they are working with investigators however they can.
The National Transportation Safety board is at the scene investigating and will likely be there two or three days as they document the area and examine the wreckage. Officials have not said what caused the plane to go down, but a preliminary report should be released next week.