Troy Gentry’s helicopter had been hovering for several minutes before it crashed, resulting in the country star’s death, according to audio from the emergency call.
In the tape, obtained by The Blast, a dispatcher can be heard alerting emergency responders in Burlington County, New Jersey about the state of the dire situation. It emerged as tributes poured in from the country music world for one half of Montgomery Gentry.
Police received a call around 1pm saying the helicopter was in distress, said Joel Bewley, a spokesman for the Burlington County prosecutor’s office.
‘Apparently he’s hovering right now waiting for the fire department to arrive. Mechanical issues … hovering currently. They are waiting for the fire department to arrive before they attempt a land.’ the dispatcher said in the audio.
But it wasn’t long before the helicopter finally crash landed into a wooded area while approaching the Flying W Airport in Medford.
Emergency personnel were able to remove Gentry from the twisted wreckage, but he passed on his way to the hospital. The pilot died at the scene.
Troy Gentry, one half of country music group Montgomery Gentry, was scheduled to perform at a resort that housed the airport on Friday evening.
Tributes on behalf of the late country star poured in on social media Friday.
‘Man they just don’t make em any nicer than Troy Gentry. He was always very very kind. Just can’t believe it. What a loss,’ fellow country singer, Randy Houser, wrote to his Twitter page.
Travis Tritt said: ‘So sad to hear that ‘Gentle Giant’ Don Williams has died! What an incredible legacy of great music he leaves behind. May he RIP.’
And Blake Shelton: ‘Found this picture of me and my old friend Troy a few days ago.. I am heart broken,’ the ‘God Gave Me You’ singer penned to his page.
‘Sad about Don Williams but Troy Gentry was my friend. I had great times with him. I’m stunned, angry and upset at the moment. I’ll miss you,’ Shooter Jennings wrote.
Josh Turner said he was ‘speechless’ when he heard the horrific accident.
‘Pray with me for the family of Don Williams & especially the family of Troy Gentry. It’s a heavy day for country music.’ Turner wrote to Twitter.
‘Sad day for country music. Troy Gentry and Don Williams have passed and that makes my heart hurt. Don was my hero and Troy was my friend,’ Jake Owen said.
Brad Paisley also said he was ‘heartbroken and in disbelief’ on Friday. ‘God bless you Troy Gentry,’ the ‘Today’ crooner said.
The ‘Our Town’ singer was 50 years old and leaves behind a wife and two children.
A message posted to the group’s Twitter page announced the news.
‘Troy Gentry’s family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time.’
Troy leaves behind his wife Angie McClure, who he wed in 1999, along with their daughter Kaylee, 14. He also leaves behind his daughter Taylor Gentry from a previous marriage.
Gentry was born on April 5, 1967, in Lexington, Kentucky, where he met bandmate Eddie Montgomery and formed a group based off their last names.
Montgomery Gentry had success on the country charts and country radio in the 2000s, scoring No. 1 hits with ‘Roll With Me,’ ‘Back When I Knew It All,’ ‘Lucky Man,’ ″Something to Be Proud Of’ and ‘If You Ever Stop Loving Me.’ Some of the songs even cracked the Top 40 on the pop charts.
The group released their debut album, ‘Tattoos & Scars,’ in 1999. The band is renowned to mix country music with a Southern rock twist.
Also Friday, 1970’s-80’s country music singer Don Williams died after suffering complications from an undisclosed illness.
Williams, 78, was recognized for hits like ‘Tulsa Time,’ ‘I Believe in You’ and ‘It Must Be Love,’ over the course of his decades-long career.
‘2 legends lost at once. Troy Gentry and Don Williams will be missed so much. Praying for their families and may they rest in peace,’ country-pop band Big & Rich wrote to Twitter.