A longtime, popular anchor at a New Orleans news station was among two people killed Friday afternoon (Aug. 16) when a small plane crashed near the city’s Lakefront Airport.
Nancy Parker was filming for a news segment to air on Fox 8 when the stunt plane she was flying in crashed.
The plane’s pilot, Franklin J.P. Augustus, was also killed in the crash, which happened just after 3 p.m.
Parker, 53, had worked at Fox 8 for 23 years. She’s survived by her husband and three children.
“Today we mourn the loss of our longtime colleague and friend Nancy Parker,” FOX 8 wrote in a post on Facebook. “Details have not been released by authorities, but we can confirm she passed away in [a] plane crash while covering a story at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport.”
The post continued: “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.”
“Nancy was absolutely a joy to work with each and every day,” FOX 8 Vice President and General Manager Tim Ingram said in a statement.
“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.”
Gayle Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, said Parker will be “sadly missed.”
“On behalf of my late husband Tom, to the family of WVUE-FOX 8, we offer our deepest sympathy to the tragic loss of Nancy Parker,” she said.
“Nancy was an outstanding, Emmy Award-winning news anchor, who fostered great trust with both those who she covered and with her viewers in the New Orleans area.”
Benson added: “Not only was she a leader in local television, she was a devoted wife to her husband Glynn and mother to their three beautiful children; Parker, Piper, and Pierce.
“She was a dear friend and a frequent guest at local philanthropic lunches and at our family farm in Kentucky. She will be sadly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to Nancy’s family.”
New Orleans Homeland Security Director Collin Arnold said the plane crash caused a fire.
A statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) statement said the plane was a 1983 Pitts S-2B aircraft that crashed in an empty field about a half-mile south of New Orleans Lakefront Airport under unknown circumstances.
Associated Press photographer Gerald Herbert, who is also a pilot and has a hanger at Lakefront Airport, went to the crash site and described charred debris lying near a fence in a grassy field (pictured above).
“It looks like the plane is completely charred,” he said.
Fox 8 reported that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was sending investigators to New Orleans to investigate the crash.