WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., introduced a bill Thursday to honor six Carteret County residents who were among the eight who died in a plane crash last year.
The crash Feb. 13, 2022, took the lives of four adults and four East Carteret High School students, including Down East natives Noah Styron, 15; Hunter Parks, 45; Jonathan “Kole” McInnis, 15; Stephanie Fulcher, 42; Jacob “Jake” Taylor, 16; and Michael “Daily” Shepherd, 15. Pilot Ernest “Teen” Rawls and his son Jeffrey Rawls also died in the crash near Drum Inlet.
Families and friends of the victims had posted signs of remembrance on the waterways near Atlantic in Carteret County in August, the Carteret County News-Times reported at the time. Murphy’s Down East Remembrance Act sets the exact coordinates of six creeks on federal land and renames them after the six Down East victims.
“Last year, Eastern North Carolina was struck by a horrible tragedy. One year later, we look to immortalize the six Down East victims so that they will never be forgotten,” Murphy said in a statement. “While I cannot imagine the immense pain their families are still feeling, it is my hope that this bill will bring some consolation and closure. I am grateful for my colleagues in the North Carolina delegation for joining me in this effort.”
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., joined by Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., are to introduce in the Senate a companion bill.
“Eastern Carolina continues to grieve the victims lost in the tragic plane crash last year,” said Tillis in a statement. “I am proud to introduce legislation to name creeks in honor of the North Carolinians who lost their lives on that fateful day. I thank Congressman Murphy for his leadership in this effort and hope my colleagues will take swift action to take up and pass this legislation.”