By Alyssa Schnugg
Three Oxford firefighters were honored Tuesday for their heroic actions after a small plane crashed at the University-Oxford Airport.
Mayor Robyn Tannehill and the Oxford Board of Aldermen recognized Lt./EMT Corey Williams, Firefighter/EMT Rochelle Harwood and Firefighter/EMT John Haynes with the Oxford Fire Department at the start of their regular meeting at City Hall. Haynes was not present at the meeting.
“You might see a picture of a wreck or a photo of some tragic event, but rarely do you see the faces of the people who are serving us,” Tannehill said.
The airplane crashed close to 3:15 p.m. on July 6 and was piloted by Lake Little, 18, of Starkville. The aircraft, a Cessna 172-Skyhawk single-engine plane, left the Golden Triangle Regional Airport en route to the University-Oxford Airport on a round-trip student flight. It crash-landed at the No. 17 hole on the golf course.
“Under extreme conditions and great risk to personal danger, these firefighters performed an act of heroism and bravery as they [removed] the victim from the aircraft,” Tannehill said.
After Little was pulled from the burning wreckage, the firefighters performed life-support on scene until the medical helicopter arrived.
Little was airlifted to the Burn Center in Memphis where she later died from her injuries.
“The men and women in the Oxford Fire Department risk their lives and endure intense training in order for us to be protected,” Tannehill said. “You are heroes and we’re so proud of you all.”
Little is the youngest daughter of Starkville Alderman David Little.