Community members pay tribute those who died in plane crash two years ago

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – People throughout Carteret County and the Down East community could be seen wearing camouflage on Tuesday.

“February 13, 2022, will definitely be a day to remember, especially for myself and the families involved, so anytime we can show our love and support to those families, we’re definitely going to participate,” said The Chief of Morehead City Fire and EMS Courtney Wade.

The community is honoring the victims of a deadly plane crash. Six of those killed were from Carteret County, including four boys who would have been seniors at East Carteret High School.

The Carteret County School system encouraged all students and staff to wear camouflage Tuesday in honor of the Down East hunting tradition the boys were involved in.

Morehead City Fire and EMS also wore camouflage hats, and the chief said he knew all of the families personally.

“It is tough on a national level. We look at September 11, 2001, and that’s a day we will never forget, but locally, February 13 of 2022 will also be a day we’ll never forget,” said Wade.

Right down the road, at Fringe Salon and Beauty Bar, stylist Shannon Barker says the memory still weighs heavy on her as one of the crash victims, Jake Taylor, was her cousin, but it’s the sense of community that gets her through the day.

“It’s so amazing just knowing that everybody just loves everybody and everybody’s there for you and everybody’s there to just kind of give you a hug or just be there for you when you really really need that,” said Baker.

The impact is widespread, as nearly everyone in this tight-knit community seemed to know someone affected.

“I personally lost Jake Taylor. He was my cousin. Another one of our stylists lost a client. Another one of our stylists lost her son’s best friend, and all of us pretty much knew these people who were in this plane crash,” said Baker.

A memorial of the community members who passed was unveiled Sunday in Sea Level for anyone to stop by and remember the victims, whether they were family members, friends, or just someone from your community.

The Carteret County school system has also announced four scholarships of $2,000 each for an ECHS senior in honor of the boys who would have been seniors this year.