Long Island resident William Jennings, of Dix Hills, was one of three people who died when their small plane went down in Queensland near the rural town of Cloncurry on Friday, Nov. 3.
At the time of the incident, the group was working with the fire department to map out wildfires in the area, according to a GoFundMe.
A preliminary investigation found that the Gulfstream 695A JetProp Commander was flying from Toowoomba to Mount Isa when the plane collided with terrain, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
There were no survivors.
“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of William Joseph Jennings, a bright light extinguished too soon,” Dennis Wickes said on a GoFundMe to help the family with funeral expenses.
Jennings, a recent graduate of Northeastern University, was working as a mechanical engineer and had “an exciting life ahead of him,” Wickes said.
“William was known to bring light to any room he walked into, and his sense of humor was infectious,” he continued.
“William was a talented saxophone player who played at Carnegie Hall. He was full of life and potential, and left a mark on everyone he met.”
At the time of his death, Jennings was two weeks into a four-week commitment to help survey Australian wildfires, relatives said. He then planned to return to the United States.
Wickes is hoping to raise enough money to have Jennings’ remains brought back to New York and give him a “proper burial.”
“Every little bit counts and will have an immense impact on supporting Williams' grieving family,” he said.
The ATSB is investigating the crash and has asked any witnesses or pilots operating in the area at the time to contact the agency.
A preliminary report is expected in six to eight weeks.
Those who wish to donate to the GoFundMe can do so here.
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