The plane that crashed on Interstate 285 in the Atlanta area Friday morning killing four people belonged to a Buncombe County reserve deputy.
The sheriff’s office says Grady “Greg” Byrd and his family members were on the Piper PA-32 at the time it crashed after taking off from DeKalb Peachtree Airport.
The passengers who were killed have been identified as Phillip Byrd, Christopher Byrd and Jackie Kulzer, according to the Atlanta CBS affiliate WGCL-TV. The news station also reports a pet also perished in the crash.
The fiery crash closed the interstate in both directions.
Byrd started his career at the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office in 1989 as a patrol deputy and spent 16 years with the department. He retired as a detective in 2006, then became a reserve deputy.
“Greg was a very professional, dedicated public servant that continued to serve his community in a Reserve Deputy role after his full time employment with the Sheriff’s Office. This is a tremendous loss for his family, this Sheriff’s Office and the community,” Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan stated.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.