DOWN EAST, N.C. (WNCT) – Monday marked one year since the plane crash in Carteret County that killed eight people, including four teenagers. 

Several events took place across the county to help remember each of the lives lost in the tragedy, including Young Waterfowlers’ Day. The Carteret County courthouse was scheduled to be lit up blue to honor the victims. It’s just a small glimpse into how the community has come together to heal and move forward over the past year.  

On the lawn of Atlantic Elementary now sits five freshly planted trees with blue ribbons attached to them. One each for five of the victims who once attended the school. 

“When you have an event like this it is tragic. And as a school, we were just looking at the best way to pay remember it, pay tribute,” said Atlantic Elementary School Principal Greg Guthrie. 

One of the victims was Kole McInnis. His grandfather, Terry McInnis, takes comfort in knowing that each of the lives lost will continue to be honored.  

“We appreciate all that’s been done for them. But every time I ride by here and see these trees, I’m going to think about it,” said McInnis.  

During a special ceremony, the trees were unveiled, and five balloons were released into the air, all while community members wearing camo gathered to pay their respects. 

“It means a lot to the one-year mark to see everybody come back together and support and have these new trees in front of our lawn that’ll be here for years to come to represent them,” said the boy’s former fifth-grade teacher at Atlantic Elementary School, Deidre Author. 

All over Carteret County, blue bows tied to mailboxes and signs remind people to never forget. The school system also encouraged students and community members to wear camo in honor of the victims. 

“One thing that I do know is that this community, they rally, they support each other. And this was another very good example of community members supporting and helping out the families and that will continue I have no doubt,” said Guthrie.  


Click here to view the proclamation adopted by the Carteret County Board of Commissioners.

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