WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A deadly plane crash on Buffalo Mountain inspired one first responder to build a memorial to honor the victims.
On October 9th, 2015 William “Bill” Gibbons and his daughter Abbey died in a plane crash in Washington County, TN on Buffalo Mountain.
“The storm had hit, when we got here there was still a fire going smoke was pouring out everywhere, it’s usually rescue mode but in this situation there was nothing to rescue,” said Lt. Doug Gregg with the Washington County, TN Sheriff’s Office, one many emergency workers who responded to the crash.
“We did everything we could for 3 days to try to get everything that we could out of here and send it back home but there are still things here that need to be remembered,” said Gregg.
For two weeks, Lt. Gregg, hiked a mile and a half to the secluded area where the crash happened and built a memorial.
“I worked off and on my off time for probably two weeks then I had about two weeks to sit and think about it,” said Gregg.
Gregg told News Channel 11’s Micah Smith, building the memorial helped him process the incident.
“When officers work scenes like this there’s always a piece of you that stays at the scene. I feel more at peace and it’s not just a memorial for them, it’s for the officers [who] worked this – the EMS guys and the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office – everybody who had a part in this,” said Gregg.
Although the memorial was a part of Gregg’s healing process, he told News Channel 11, he will be happy if it also brings peace to others.
Gregg said he hasn’t told many people about the memorial, including the family of the victims, but he does keep in contact with friends of the family.