Lake Worth

Help Pours in for Student Pilot Hurt in Lake Worth Military Jet Crash

North Texas organizations are leading a Texas-size effort to support the student pilot’s recovery

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A fiery jet crash stunned a Lake Worth neighborhood last month. 

Colleen Valenti, a representative of Hugs from Hercs, a nonprofit organization supporting the military aviation community, said she knew it was bad just from the sound. 

“When it happened that day, I heard all the sirens," Valenti said. "I don’t live very close to the crash site, but I heard the sirens."

A marine student pilot, who has not been identified, was badly burned after his parachute got tangled in power lines.  

He and his instructor ejected from the plane before it crashed. 

North Texas organizations have been helping the student pilot on his road to recovery. 

“I know, as a pilot’s wife that there is nothing that they want to do more than get in an airplane and fly,” said Anne Pottinger, a representative from the Fort Worth Airpower Council.

Pottinger said the Fort Worth Airpower Council helped raise more than $1,000.   

Local restaurants and volunteers from both the council and Hugs from Hercs delivered hot meals to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where the pilot was recovering in the burn unit. 

“When everyone works together and supports families, especially military families, which is what we’re all about, it’s healing for everyone," Valenti said.

Hugs from Hercs sends care packages to military families and helps them in times of need and around the holidays. 

The student pilot was transferred to the San Antonio area to continue his recovery, but volunteer groups plan to continue helping him any way they can.  

“I imagine his future career will be phenomenal because he has got to be re-energized now knowing what he almost lost and what he can regain,” Pottinger said.

The instructor pilot, who ejected from the T-45C Goshawk training jet, has already been released from the hospital

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.  

Contact Us