Newlywed Couple Killed Two Hours After They Got Married

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newlyweds William Byler and Bailee AckermanEric Smith/Facebook

A newly married couple died just hours after their wedding when their helicopter journey away from the ceremony went horribly wrong.

William Byler and Bailee Ackerman, who were both seniors at Sam Houston State University in Texas, are believed to have died in the early hours of Sunday, November 4, along with the pilot, after their helicopter crashed into the side of a hill.

The newlyweds were leaving their wedding in the aircraft, as guests cheered and waved them off from William’s family ranch on Saturday night. However, about an hour and a half later the helicopter crashed, just a mile away.

William Byler and Bailee AckermanEric Smith/Facebook

It’s unclear whether the couple were being taken on a tour, or if they were being taken to another location, and authorities are still investigating the incident, according to ABC13.

Eric Smith, a guest at the wedding, shared the news on Facebook, writing:

I’m absolutely devastated! Horrible news! We feel like it’s OK to post now. So sorry we did not post earlier we just did not feel it was appropriate.

Bailee Ackerman Byler of Orangefield and William Troy Byler III of Bellville passed away last night.

We celebrated their fairy tale wedding and they were surrounded by their family and friends as they flew off in the family helicopter.

Sadly they crashed into the side of a hill about a mile from the family ranch. The pilot, Jerry, was also on board. There were no survivors! Please keep everyone associated with this tragic event in your prayers.

View this post on Instagram

My sweet Bailee Raye, my heart is broken in a million little pieces as I sit here and think of the rest of my life without my best friend. I’m so sad to even be captioning these pictures with this, but you know I just have to share with everyone how beautiful you looked on your wedding day like I normally would have. Standing beside you as your Maid of Honor, chasing your veil around in the wind Saturday as you said “I Do” and you looking back at me saying “Thanks Jess”, it’ll replay in my mind forever. I’ll never forget helping you get ready that day while I cried tears of happiness telling you how much I loved you and how thankful I was for this true friendship we shared and I’ll never forget the sweetest words you said back to me. I’ll always cherish the speech you asked me to give at the rehearsal and the opportunity you gave me to tell you and everyone else how special both you and Will are to me. I’m so happy you married the man of your dreams and found the precious love you deserved with him. We always said we’d find the men to sweep us off our feet one day and boy am I so happy you get to be with him in the best forever you could imagine. Thank you for loving me from the day we met. Thank you for being the very best, best friend I could ever ask for. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for laughing and crying your way through life with me. Thank you for being the sister I never had. I love you so much Bai. Please be sure to hold your loved ones close tonight and send a prayer out for these two families and friends.

A post shared by Jessica Stilley (@jesss_michelle) on

Bailee’s maid of honour, Jessica Stilley, also posted a tribute to her friend on Instagram, writing:

My sweet Bailee Raye, my heart is broken in a million little pieces as I sit here and think of the rest of my life without my best friend. I’m so sad to even be captioning these pictures with this, but you know I just have to share with everyone how beautiful you looked on your wedding day like I normally would have.

Standing beside you as your Maid of Honor, chasing your veil around in the wind Saturday as you said “I Do” and you looking back at me saying “Thanks Jess”, it’ll replay in my mind forever. I’ll never forget helping you get ready that day while I cried tears of happiness telling you how much I loved you and how thankful I was for this true friendship we shared and I’ll never forget the sweetest words you said back to me.

The post continued:

I’ll always cherish the speech you asked me to give at the rehearsal and the opportunity you gave me to tell you and everyone else how special both you and Will are to me.

I’m so happy you married the man of your dreams and found the precious love you deserved with him. We always said we’d find the men to sweep us off our feet one day and boy am I so happy you get to be with him in the best forever you could imagine.

Thank you for loving me from the day we met. Thank you for being the very best, best friend I could ever ask for. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for laughing and crying your way through life with me. Thank you for being the sister I never had. I love you so much Bai.

Please be sure to hold your loved ones close tonight and send a prayer out for these two families and friends.

Our thoughts are with William and Bailee’s families and friends at this difficult time.

If you’ve experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.