OXFORD, Miss. (localmemphis.com)- An 18-year-old pilot was seriously injured Saturday in a plane crash and later died from her injuries.
Lafayette County coroner Rocky Kennedy identified the woman as Elizabeth “Lake” Little of Starkville.
Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill confirms Little was the daughter of a Starkville alderman and is described an active volunteer in the community.
Local 24 News spoke with a man who witnessed the crash at the Ole Miss Golf Course.
“This low-lying plane came right over where we are right now and just barely cleared the trees down there and crashed,” said golfer Ed Field.
Field was on the Ole Miss Golf Course Saturday and saw the teenage pilot’s plane catch fire.
He described the horrific moments.
“Fire and just a horrible scene,” said the golfer. “They couldn’t get her out because the jet fuel was so hot.”
Local 24 News learned the Cessna 172 was performing “touch and go” takeoffs at the nearby Ole Miss Airport when it crashed around 3:15 p.m. Near the course’s 17th tee box.
A “touch and go” takeoff is a maneuver is when a plane lands on the runway and takes off again without making a full stop.
The area where the plane landed was sectioned off Sunday. The National Transportation Safety Board said investigators arrive are expected to arrive on Monday.
The 18-year-old was practicing ‘touch and go’ takeoffs and was attempting to land at the ole miss airport before the accident.
Little recently graduated from Starkville Academy and planned to study at the University of Southern Mississippi.
“She’s was on the mayor’s youth council” said Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill. “She has numerous, numerous activities that she engaged in in the community in a philanthropic kind of way. She was always giving back. She spent a lot of time sharing herself with the community in ways that were very impactful.”
Little had a passion for children and founded a literacy organization for young students.
According to her brother, she envisioned serving her country and enlisted in the National Guard.
“It’s just a tragedy, it’s a tragedy for the community to have such a bright young mind lost,” said Field.
Little planned to open a pathology clinic for children and the elderly.
An incident report is expected to be released by the NTSB in a couple of weeks.