Opelika mourns loss of one of its daughters

Photo special to the Opelika Observer

Award winning journalist Nancy Parker Boyd dies in plane crash in New Orleans

By Michelle Key

The Opelika community is still reeling from the news that one of their own, Nancy Parker Boyd, was killed in a plane crash last Friday while working on a story for WVUE FOX 8 News where she had been an anchor for 23 years. 

Nancy was in the plane with Franklin Augustus, a veteran stunt pilot. Franklin also perished in the crash. She had been interviewing Augustus prior to their take-off. 

The National Transportation Safety Board issued the following in a statement released on Saturday. 

“Shortly after take-off, the pilot radioed the controller in the Lakefront Airport tower and indicated that he was having problems, which were not specified.  The controller gave the pilot a clearance to return to the airport.

Witnesses reported observing the airplane appeared to have engine problems shortly after take-off.  According to witnesses the airplane then pitched down and struck the ground. Much of the wreckage was consumed in a post-crash fire.”

Friends of Nancy and her parents, Bill and Patsy Parker, quickly took to social media, sharing their shock, leaving messages expressing their love for Nancy and their sorrow at the news of her death.
Below are just a few of messages left for her family: 

– We here in Opelika, Alabama have lost a dear friend and native daughter. Our love and sympathy go out to her family. – Norman Easterday

We will miss you terribly as a news anchor, a mother, a daughter, a friend with a pure heart. – Beth Tripplet Smith

Prayers for Patsy, Bill and the Parker family- we share the sorrow of your loss. – Sheriff Jay Jones

I’m so stunned and heartbroken; just devastating. – Kate Larkin

Mr. and Mrs, Parker and Billy, none of us can be hurting as much as you, but we do hurt over this tragedy. Most of us in Opelika are still in shock and disbelief. We feel the void of her presence. – Cassandra Clifton

A memorial service will be held at the Xavier University Convocation Center in New Orleans on Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. 

Nancy’s parents have created a memorial scholarship fund in honor of their daughter. Donations can be made at www.cfeastalabama.org

The Observer staff wishes to extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the Boyd and Parker families at this most difficult of times. 


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