Tragedy befell New Orleans on Friday when a beloved local news anchor was unexpectedly killed in a small plane crash.
Nancy Parker, a long-time news anchor and reporter for Fox affiliate WVUE, was doing a story on stunt planes when the aircraft she was flying in crashed around 3 pm Friday afternoon.
WVUE confirmed that Parker, 53, who had worked at the local Fox station for 23 years and was a five-time Emmy award-winning journalist, died in the crash.
The stunt pilot, identified as Franklin J.P. Augustus, was also killed.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have reportedly dispatched investigators to determine what happened to the small biplane, a 1983 Pitts S-2B.
It is unclear at this time why the plane went down roughly a half-mile from the airport. According to the NTSB, witnesses reported that the plane “appeared to have engine problems shortly after takeoff” before it crashed. However, a complete investigation could take as long as two years.
A community mourns
In a Facebook post Friday evening, Parker’s friends and colleagues at WVUE mourned her tragic loss and wrote, “Nancy was a part of the FOX 8 family for the last 23 years. She put her heart and soul into her work, covering thousands of stories and touching countless lives.”
“She made a difference in the lives of those she reported on. She will be sorely missed, and her absence creates a void that cannot be filled,” the post added.
WVUE also issued a statement on Parker’s unfortunate passing from station General Manager Tim Ingram, who described Parker as “absolutely a joy to work with each and every day.”
“Today we lost a wonderful journalist and remarkable friend, the New Orleans television community lost a true treasure, but beyond that, her family lost a wife, a mother and daughter. Our thoughts and prayers are with them,” Ingram added.
The owner of the New Orleans Saints NFL football team, Gayle Benson, released a statement expressing just how “sadly missed” Parker would be among her own family, the team, and the broader community.
Parker is survived by her husband and three children. “We were best friends. I would trade places with her right now. I should’ve been on that plane,” her husband wrote in an emotional Facebook post. “She was our road map, our compass, our guiding light. I’m lost without my wife. My faith tells me joy will come in the morning. My joy will come when I see Jesus and my Nancy Face to Face.”
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