Remembering Bailee Ackerman Byler and Will


    The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are investigating a helicopter crash that took the lives of Bailee Ackerman Byler, 23, and her husband, Will, 23, shortly after their wedding in Uvalde County.

    Bailee was from Orangefield and they were seniors at Sam Houston State University.

    They were married Saturday night at a ranch belonging to the family of Will Byler.

    The young couple left in a helicopter following the reception, bound for the airport and their honeymoon.

    The helicopter crashed on a 400 foot hill. The couple and the pilot, Gerald Lawrence, 76, died.

    He was a Vietnam veteran and longtime pilot for the Bylers.

    "Shocked," said Kevin Norton, a police officer in Pinehurst. "I was here at work when I got the news. Just totally shocked and dumbfounded."

    Norton knew Bailee when she volunteered with the Orange County Special Angels Rodeo.

    Bailee helped those with special needs for several years.

    "Definitely a great person," Norton told KFDM/Fox 4 "Heart of gold."

    Norton says Bailee was loved by those who are part of the rodeo for taking time to make others feel special.

    "Watching her interact with our participants, she showed no difference between our special needs participants and anybody else that was there, and really made them feel like they were the most important person there."

    A former teacher at Orangefield High School remembers Bailee having a smile on her face every day.

    He calls the newlyweds the most outstanding individuals he's ever met.

    "Our special angels are really going to miss her because she really did make them feel like the most important people in the world."

    A legacy to the organization,, the school and the community.

    "You could tell she had touched a lot of lives and touched a lot of hearts, and just the outpouring of love and sympathy has been amazing from our community. Just to see how our community is supporting her friends and family, and just to see that she did make such a huge impact on people."

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