18-Year-Old Pageant Queen Perishes in Fiery Plane Crash

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
July 8, 2019USshare
18-Year-Old Pageant Queen Perishes in Fiery Plane Crash
Lake Little in a file photo. (Lake Little/Instagram via CNN)

An 18-year-old pageant queen who was flying a plane died after the aircraft crashed on a golf course.

Lake Little passed away on July 6 after crashing on the Ole Miss golf course, which is located near the Oxford University Airport, reported WMC.

Brian Rippee was golfing when he saw the plane crash.

“This plane was like up and just came straight down and hit a tree. And I was kind of like, ‘oh wow,’” said Rippee. “Paramedics and firemen got there pretty quickly and put it out and airlifted her. I think, it looked like it at least, one of the guys who was on the hole at the time tried to do something about it, but the fire got too big and they kind of had to back up. So, there wasn’t a whole lot we could do.”

University of Mississippi spokesperson Rod Guajardo said in a statement obtained by the Starkville Daily News that a female pilot was performing “touch-and-go” maneuvers on Saturday, in which pilots land and take off without coming to a full stop.

“No one on the ground was injured,” he said. “The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have been contacted and will investigate the scene of the crash. We will provide further updates as they become available.”

According to the Daily Journal, Little was going to attend the University of Southern Mississippi and planned to study pathology and audiology. She wanted to build a career in those fields as well as be a professional pilot.

Officials shared condolences after Little’s death was reported.

“The City of Starkville is saddened by the loss of Lake Little. She was a star for us and had such a great plan for her life commitment to others. Flying was her love and her passion. Our thoughts and prayers to her family for comfort,” said Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill in a statement.

“Such sad news about Lake Little. A beautiful light has passed from this world far too soon. Deborah and I pray the dear Lord would assuage the pain and grief of her parents and family,” added Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.

Brother Layton Little said that Lake had recently enlisted in the National Guard.

“America, she loved you! She loved you so much she enlisted in the National Guard!” he wrote on Twitter.

“She was so proud to take her oath just a few weeks ago to serve our State and Country. She might not have held a title for our military, but she was a true General for the Lord. I am so proud.”

Little was Starkville’s Miss Hospitality.

In a post on the organization’s Facebook page on June 15, she shared two pictures from a plane she was flying.

“It’s nights like these at 5,000 feet that I feel the most thankful to be from the beautiful state of Mississippi! Mississippi is not just a place it’s a person, that goes with us no matter where we are,” she wrote.

lake little
Lake Little in a file photo. (Lake Little/Facebook)

“You might hear people say ‘There is no better place than Mississippi,’ but I say there are no better people than Mississippians. That is why I am doing Miss Hospitality to help promote this amazing State through tourism and economic development to others hoping everyone will choose to experience a little slice of heaven, too.”