PORT ALLEN, La. (BRPROUD) — A Port Allen family of three and a pilot died in a sightseeing plane crash in Colorado on Sunday.
Ian, 17, Amanda, 13, and their mother, Sandra Kirby, were on a three-week vacation to Colorado and Utah.
“This is one of your nightmares,” said Jessica Major, principal of Port Allen Middle School.
Major said the community is hurting. She watched Amanda and Ian grow up.
“In a place like this where most of the community work in the local school system, we see our students out in the community, we might live by our students, they become part of who we are,” she said.
In two weeks Ian was to start his senior year of high school where he was well known in the Port Allen High band.
“Every year we have a homecoming parade and the high school passes our school and he would always be so proud playing his instrument and Amanda would be so excited to see her brother,” said Major.
Major described Amanda as outgoing, smart and a friend to everyone. Amanda was to start the eighth grade and aspired to play in the band, just like her big brother.
“Anytime she walked around campus she would talk to any faculty member there was even if it was an adult she did not know. She would tell them hello and introduce herself,” she said.
The plane was only in the air for 10 minutes before it crashed. Recovery efforts have taken days because of significant damage. According to the FAA, the plane was a Cessna P337, which is a dual-engine aircraft.
Major said the first day of school won’t be the same without Amanda but wants students to know help is here if needed.
“We will have counselors on staff and we can set up an appointment for them to come in. But we’re also going to work as a team to ensure that on the first day of school, we want to remember her and how she loved every part of school,” she said.
The plane crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
A GoFundMe has been created by a relative of the Kirby family to raise funds for a memorial service. To make a donation, click here.