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Tragedy Strikes: Prominent Surgeon and Children Perish in Mid-Air Disaster

A beloved doctor and his two adult children lost their lives in a shocking mid-air plane crash just days before a momentous occasion. Dr. Lucius J. Doucet III, a respected plastic surgeon from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, along with his daughter Giselle and son Jean-Luc, were confirmed dead by officials following the incident that occurred near Nashville, Tennessee.

The Doucet family were traveling in a single-engine Beechcraft V35 when the aircraft tragically broke apart in mid-flight on Wednesday, May 15th, at approximately 12:05 PM local time. The wreckage scattered across a vast area exceeding half a mile, prompting a search and recovery operation by emergency responders.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). While official details are still emerging, rough weather conditions are suspected to have played a role. Sheriff Mark Elrod of Williamson County, Tennessee, addressed the media during a news conference, stating, “It does appear that the flight did break up in the air.” He further elaborated that the debris field covered a substantial area and search efforts were ongoing.

The news of the Doucet family’s passing sent shockwaves through their hometown of Baton Rouge and the Louisiana State University (LSU) community. Giselle and Jean-Luc were both students at LSU, with Giselle pursuing a promising career in veterinary medicine and Jean-Luc excelling in engineering studies. Both siblings were tragically just two days shy of graduating from the university.

“We are devastated to hear this news, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Doucet family and all those close to them,” expressed LSU in a heartfelt statement. “This is heartbreaking for the LSU community, but especially for those who know and love these two students, and those who were expecting to share graduation with them.”

Dr. Doucet, widely regarded as an “exceptional surgeon” by his colleagues, was known for his dedication to his patients and his passion for aviation. He owned the small aircraft involved in the crash. Tributes poured in from the Williamson Cosmetic Center, where he practiced. “Dr. Doucet was not only an exceptional surgeon, but also a compassionate man who touched the lives of countless individuals within our community,” the Center stated, “His dedication to his patients was unmatched, and his kindness and empathy were felt by all who had the privilege of knowing him.”

Recordings of Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications reveal the plane began descending from an altitude of 9,000 feet. The ATC offered guidance for a potential landing at a nearby airport, but details regarding the pilot’s response remain unclear from the available audio. “It sounds like contact lost,” stated the ATC tower.

The crash site was secured by a coordinated response from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin Fire Department, Williamson County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), and Williamson Health EMS. While authorities received reports of debris in residential areas, thankfully no structural damage was reported. The investigation is ongoing, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) collaborating with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and the NTSB.

This tragic event underscores the fragility of life. Dr. Doucet, a pillar of his community, and his children, brimming with potential on the cusp of academic achievement, were all abruptly taken away. The investigation will hopefully shed light on the cause of the crash, but the impact on the Doucet family and those who knew them will be a lasting one.


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