Witnesses recall deadly plane crash in Wilbarger County

(Source:Tamara Griffith)
(Source:Tamara Griffith)

WILBARGER COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - A Wichita Falls woman opens up about the moments leading up to the tragic plane crash that took one man's life.

DPS Troopers say doctor Jay William Baxley was flying the plane Sunday afternoon when it went down just west of Wilbarger County's airport.  The Vernon dentist was the only person on board.

Anne Anderson said she was taking a flight training course at the airport when it happened.  She, along with some other women participating in GIFT, Girls in Flight Training, witnessed the accident.

"I think about it and think that really just could not have happened, like the vision of what I saw right over my shoulder," said Anderson.

Anderson recalls the horrific scene of  Dr. Baxley's last flight.

"Just kind of buzzed our shoulders and took off that way," she said.  "So we watched, we comment what's he doing, what's going on."

Suddenly, there was an explosion and black smoke.

"It was pretty shocking and scary," said Anderson.

Mary Latimer, Founder of GIFT, said she was inside the hanger when someone waved her to come out.

"I came running out, and I saw the smoke, and I knew what had happened," said Latimer.  "Felt like I got kicked in the gut because I knew exactly who it was."

Latimer said that is why she refused to go to the scene of the crash.

"He has a hanger here," said Latimer. "I've known Dr. Baxley basically since he brought his first airplane here to Vernon.  Very nice gentlemen."

Anderson said this is not going to discourage her from flying.  She adds Dr. Baxley would want the women to continue doing what they love.

"I think he would tell us all do your thing, reach your dreams," said Anderson.

Anderson said the ladies are helping each other get through this tough time, adding their thoughts are with Dr. Baxley and his family.

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