U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet crashes in Tennessee


SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – At least one person was killed after a U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet crashed Thursday afternoon in Smyrna ahead of their weekend airshow at the city’s airport.

A La Vergne official confirmed the crash happened 3 p.m. near Weakly Lane, about 2.5 miles from the Nissan plant, while practicing for the demonstration.PHOTOS: U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet crash

News 2 spoke with witness Paula Payne who said the jet sounded louder than normal shorty before crash.

“I looked out the window and heard the planes maneuvering again. I looked out the window and saw one straight out here come down, hit the ground, and explode,” she said.

Becca Burgess said she had been hearing the jets all day and noticed one was flying particularly low.

“I looked up and saw it coming down and I thought maybe they were doing dips … Then I saw a huge ball of orange fire, and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, he’s crashed,’” she explained. “I cried. I mean, the first thought was fear for the pilot.”

At least one person was killed. The victim’s identity has not been released at this time.

The Smyrna Police Department will continue to assist in the situation but is yielding the investigation to the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. military.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol also responded to the scene to help direct traffic in the area.

Around 1,300 people are currently without power after the jet reportedly clipped some power lines during the crash. Click here to view an outage map.

Further details weren’t immediately known.

Hunter Hayes was set to fly with the Blue Angels on Friday. His publicist told News 2 the crash happened right in front of them, but he was not injured.

WKRN’s Samantha Fisher flew with the flight team on Wednesday ahead of their performance at the Great Tennessee Airshow on June 4 and 5. It’s unclear if the crash will affect the show.

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