Tx. Newlyweds Killed in Helicopter Crash After Leaving Wedding - NBC Bay Area
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Tx. Newlyweds Killed in Helicopter Crash After Leaving Wedding

The helicopter carrying Will Byler and Bailee Ackerman Byler crashed in a remote area about 15 miles northwest of Uvalde

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    A newlywed couple was killed late Saturday in a helicopter crash just hours after exchanging vows in Uvalde, Texas, about 80 miles west of San Antonio, officials said.

    The helicopter carrying Will Byler and Bailee Ackerman Byler crashed on a hillside in a remote area about 15 miles northwest of Uvalde, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Authority said.

    The helicopter's pilot also died in the crash. Officials have not identified the pilot, but NBC affiliate KPRC has identified him as Gerald Douglas Lawrence, 76, of Houston.

    Craig Hatch of the National Transportation Safety Board said the pilot was "very experienced."

    The cause of the crash is unknown, and authorities are still working to recover the helicopter from its precarious position on the side of the hill where it crashed, NBC News reported.

    Authorities were notified of a crash late Saturday night, but first responders had to wait for daylight to search the remote area for the crash site.

    Hatch estimated the couple was in the air for only 5 to 10 minutes before the crash.

    The couple's wedding portal on the website The Knot had said their nuptials were taking place on Nov. 3 on Will Byler's family ranch in Uvalde.

    By Monday afternoon, the wedding information had been removed from their portal on The Knot, replaced with the message: "Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with this family at their great loss. We know both families appreciate all your love, support and kindness during this time."

    Will and Baille were both seniors at Sam Houston State University, according to The Houstonian, the school's student-run newspaper.

    The university's student body president posted a statement on social media Monday offering condolences to the couple's families and friends and offering support to the student community.

    "As we move forward through this hard time it is important to remember that we should all live life like Will and Bailee," reads the post signed by David Eller. "Live every day not fearing the unknown but putting your best foot forward to make an impact wherever your path leads you."

    Family and friends took to social media over the weekend to share touching tributes to the newlyweds and posted photos and videos showing the happy couple dancing at the reception just hours earlier.

    The Bell 206B helicopter was registered to W.T. Byler Co. Inc., according to FAA records. The aircraft was manufactured in 2005. Its current certification was issued in 2012 and due to expire in 2021.