Reginald Hillard Jr. Was on a small plane ride with his girlfriend Brianna Davis, when things took a turn for the worse.
Brianna purchased a ride on a Cessna aircraft as a gift for Hillard’s birthday. Davis had reportedly bought the airline tickets as a means for her boyfriend, who was afraid of planes, to be able to see what New Orleans looked like from the sky.
During the ride, the unidentified pilot hit a storm cloud, unfortunately he did not call for help. The plane crashed, killing both Hillard and the pilot. However just seconds before the crash, Hillard pushed his girlfriend off of the plane and into Lake Pontchartrain, where she was eventually picked up by a private yacht and taken to a local hospital.
Hillard’s cousin, Yolanda White, released the following statement about the father of three: “He’s the hero. He was a hero living. You know, he died that way,” White told local news outlets. “This was his first plane flight ever. First time he flew on a plane. And it was a surprise from his girlfriend Brianna.”