A newlywed couple, Will Byler and Bailee Ackerman Byler, was killed in a helicopter crash outside of Uvalde, Texas, after flying off after their wedding on Saturday, according to reports.
“It is with deepest sadness that we announce the tragic passing of two Bearkats Will Byler (Agriculture Engineering senior) and Bailee Ackerman Byler (Agricultural Communication senior) in a helicopter accident departing their wedding,” The Houstonian — the newspaper of the college that the couple attended, Sam Houston State University — wrote on Facebook.
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“We ask that you keep the Byler and Ackerman families in your thoughts and prayers,” the post added.
In a statement shared to Facebook on Sunday, the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office said they “received a call from an aviation monitoring center of a possible down aircraft in the area of Northwest Uvalde County.”
“After further investigation, Uvalde Co. Sheriff’s Office Deputies received coordinates of a possible more direct location of the aircraft in distress,” the statement said. “TX DPS Troopers, Game Wardens, Border Patrol, Uvalde Vol. Fire Dept, and Uvalde EMS arrived in the vicinity of Chalk Bluff Park off HWY 55 to assist with the search. Upon break of day, the accident location was found and the Texas Dept. of Public Safety and the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the scene.”
Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board tweeted, “NTSB investigating crash Sunday of a Bell 206B in Uvalde, TX.”
Though neither confirmed any casualties in the crash, according to the San Antonio Express-News, details will be released by authorities on Monday.
Eric Smith, a wedding guest, posted on Facebook about the crash. “We celebrated their fairy tale wedding and they were surrounded by their family and friends as they flew off in the family helicopter,” he recalled. “Sadly they crashed into the side of a hill about a mile from the family ranch.”
“Last night was magical in every way. Absolutely perfect,” another wedding guest wrote alongside an Instagram slideshow. “Bailee & Will – I hope I find a love as true & wonderful as yours. 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.”
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In September, Bailee gushed about getting married on Facebook. “This whole ‘bride’ experience has been more than I have ever dreamed of and we still have so much left to do… thank you ALL for the memories,” she wrote. “I am a lucky lady.”
As she announced her engagement in December, Bailee wrote, “Will Byler and I have the best support system out there, and I honestly cannot truly express how blessed we are. I am in awe of you, Will Byler, and I hope that everyone gets to experience a love like the one we have. Today is the beginning of forever TOGETHER!”
“So in love,” Bailee captioned an August photo in which she cuddled up to Will.