Mayor: Loss of four in plane crash leaves "void in our heart"

Published: Nov. 13, 2017 at 12:19 PM EST
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The sudden loss of four Somerset residents left the Kentucky town in shock.

A plane crash in Barren County on Sunday claimed the lives of attorney Scott Foster, his son, 15-year-old Noah Foster, Dr. Kyle Stewart, a local dentist, and Somerset Police chaplain Doug Whitaker; all were well-known in the Somerset community.

"Each of these individuals were contributing to our community. They were at the age part of our future. Tragically being taken away from us leaves a void in our heart," said Mayor Eddie Girdler.

Noah Foster was a sophomore at Pulaski County High School. Principal Rodney McAninch says Noah had several close friends and was active in the school's technology program.

"Obviously subdued, somber. It's a sad day no doubt about it," McAninch said.

Students are signing messages on a banner that will be given to the Foster family. School officials are also making grief counselors available during this difficult time.

"We had a prayer circle for our students in the gym; the students actually initiated that, and it went very well. We want to make sure we support them as well as we can. At the same time, we feel like we need to give them as normal a day as we can here at school to help them cope with the grieving that's happening."

Whitaker attended Grace Baptist Church in Somerset. The pastor there says many people are wondering why this happened.

"The only answer I know is I don't know. Do I believe there is a why behind this? Yes, I do believe there is. I believe God has a purpose and God has a plan. Why he would take a 40-year-old who has a family who loves him? I don't know," said Pastor Bill Haynes.

The four were returning home from a duck hunting trip when the plane went down. All were supporters of the Lake Cumberland Chapter of Ducks Unlimited. Dr. Stewart served on the committee.

"They leave behind an important legacy of care and conservation for their natural resources and taking care of their fellow man," said District Chairman, Jeff Adams. "I think that's a pretty nice legacy to leave behind."

Mayor Girdler says the town will be doing several things to pay honor and respect to the four victims, including lowering the flags to half-staff for three days.

Funeral arrangements are still pending for each victim. Lake Cumberland Funeral Home will handle Scott and Noah Foster's arrangements, Pulaski Funeral Home will handle Doug Whitaker's, and Southern Oaks will handle Kyle Stewart's.