Nancy Parker, 53, covered South Louisiana for two decades. The veteran journalist was working on a feature story for WVUE Fox 8 about stunt pilot and flight instructor Franklin J.P. Augustus when the plane he was flying them in crashed in an empty field.
The aircraft burst into flames after hitting the ground, officials said. First responders put out the blaze, but Parker and Augustus could not be saved. Little more than a charred frame was left of the plane.
Parker's fellow anchor Lee Zurik interrupted the channel's programming Friday to inform viewers of what happened. In an emotional report, Zurik said Parker died “doing what she loved, telling a story.”
Parker won several awards throughout her career, including five Emmy Awards. She began working at WVUE for 23 years ago. Fox 8 Vice President Tim Ingram called her a "joy to work with" and someone who changed the lives of the people she reported on, according to Nola.com.
“Today we lost a wonderful journalist and remarkable friend, the New Orleans television community lost a true treasure, but beyond that, her family lost a wife, a mother and daughter,” Ingram said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Augustus reportedly began flying at 19 and went on to perform in air shows and become a flight instructor. He once described himself as “the world’s only black civilian air-show acrobatic pilot.”
Officials are investigating the crash.