A helicopter carrying 24-year-old newlyweds away from their wedding ceremony on Saturday night crashed, killing both the couple and the pilot.
William Byler and Bailee Ackerman Byler had tied the knot at a ranch around 80 miles west of San Antonio and were departing their reception for a local airport when the accident happened.
Officials said the helicopter was owned by William Byler’s father but was being flown by 76-year-old Gerald Douglas Lawrence, who had piloted the craft for about 20 years and served as a pilot during the Vietnam War.
Friends of the couple, who were both studying at Sam Houston State University, have been leaving messages of condolence under images of their wedding on social media.
“Just..unimaginable tragedy. Worthy of the Greeks or Shakespeare,” said Shawn Meyer on Facebook.
Another friend wrote on Instagram: “I have peace in the fact that you left this earth so full of happiness and love. How awesome to spend your honeymoon with Jesus.
“So thankful we got to spend these last few days with y’all. Our hearts hurt now, but we know this is not forever.”
Authorities say it’s too early to determine what caused the craft to crash into a rocky hillside just five minutes after take-off.