Along the side of a highway in Mississippi, about 200 yards from a crash site that killed 16 members of the military on Monday, David Weeks played “Taps” to honor the dead.
The scene was captured by Joshua Tucker, a reporter for Fox 13 in Memphis.
The Associated Press reported the KC-130 air tanker was carrying members of an elite Marine special operations unit cross country for training in Arizona when it went down in the Mississippi Delta, the military said. The fiery crash scattered wreckage for miles and sent a pillar of black smoke rising over the countryside.
“I’m out here today to show my respect for the fallen,” Weeks told Fox 13. “Felt in my heart to come out and honor them.”
Weeks belongs to the Patriot Guard Riders, a group he joined to honor his father, a World War II veteran. Weeks is not in the military.
This is the deadliest Marine Corps air disaster since 2005, when a transport helicopter went down during a sandstorm in Iraq, killing 30 Marines and a sailor.
The Marine Corps said the cause was under investigation and offered no information on whether the plane issued a distress call.