North Carolina Man Carving Duck Decoys to Honor Plane Crash Victims

by Michael Freeman

Back in February, a plane went down in North Carolina while on a hunting trip, with eight people losing their lives. Now, a man there is carving duck decoys to honor those who died in the plane crash.

Corey Lawrence hails from Harkers Island and carves duck decoys just like his well-known father used to. However, he’s using his carving talents for a new purpose after hearing about the Carteret Co. plane crash last month. Speaking to WRAL, he talked about how the opportunity to do so is incredibly special to him.

“You hear that people are good when they die,” Lawrence told the news outlet. “But they were good. They were really good. I want it to be the best thing I’ve ever done.” Reporter Scott Mason then asked even if the decoys have flaws, does he think the parents of the children who died will still think they are perfect? “I think the parents will think it’s the prettiest decoy they’ve ever seen.”

Lawrence also disclosed the decoys that mean the most to him are the people they represent. He then lamented the tragic loss of life last month. “Eight people, eight souls were lost,” he continued. “The plane went down, it crashed just off of Drum Inlet, about a three and a half miles out, is where they found the wreckage. It should have only been a 20-minute flight.”

Harkers Island is a place rife with proud lineages and Corey Lawrence’s family is no exception. He carves duck decoys just like his father did before him. A renowned carver himself now, Corey is happy his talents and heritage can be used to honor those who died.

What Happened in the Plane Crash Last Month?

On February 13, a plane carrying eight people, including four teenagers, crashed off the North Carolina coast. The group was on a duck hunting trip and all lost their lives when the plane went down.

Daily Mail reported the accident, saying the Pilatus PC-12 airplane went down after authorities spotted it on the radar “behaving erratically.” Coast Guard boats, as well as an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter military aircrew, set out to find the plane after it went down. Tragically, when it was discovered, there were no survivors.

Four passengers were students and attended East Carteret High School. They were identified as Kole McInnis, Jake Taylor, Dailey Shepherd, and Noah Styron. Upon learning their identities, Carteret County Public Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson released a statement about the loss.

“We are incredibly saddened [by the news]. We join with the Down East and Eastern North Carolina community as we await official word on the airplane crash off the coast of Drum Inlet, North Carolina,” said a statement from the district. “Crisis teams are on school campuses to support students, staff and families.”