A Fort Bragg soldier was among the victims of a small plane crash in Georgia on Saturday.
The U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, said Staff Sgt. Aliaksandr "Alex" Bahrytsevich, 31, was killed in the crash in Swainsboro.
Bahrytsevich was a member of the Golden Knights' Black Demonstration Team and was originally from Belarus. He was off duty at the time of the crash.
"Alex was extremely passionate about the sport of skydiving and always sought opportunities to coach and mentor other members of the team," the Golden Knights said in a statement. "Alex served the U.S. Army with distinction and pride."
The Federal Aviation Administration said a Cessna 182A aircraft with five people on board crashed just after takeoff from East Georgia Regional Airport at 2:08 p.m. The crash is under investigation.
According to reports, four people died in the crash and the fifth was in critical condition.
"This is the worst crash, as far as fatalities, that I've seen as sheriff for 34 years in Emanuel County," Sheriff J. Tyson Stephens told the Statesboro Herald in Georgia.
The Augusta Chronicle reported that the plane was owned by The Jumping Place Skydiving Center in Statesboro.
Statesboro is a little more than 30 miles east of Swainsboro.
"Today, we have suffered an enormous loss," The Jumping Place wrote on Facebook on Saturday. "We've lost loved ones. Please be respectful of loved ones. ... We've all lost parts of our family."
According to the Golden Knights, Bahrytsevich is survived by his mother Nattallia and father Mikhail.
"We ask for respect and privacy for the family during this time of sorrow," the team said. "Funeral arrangements and memorial ceremony information will be released later this week.
This article is written by Drew Brooks from The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.