Plane Crash Settlement Reached in 2023 for Eastern North Carolina Victims

Marine Corps Lance Corporal Ivan R. Garcia, Marine Corps Lance Corporal Merax C. Dockery, Marine Corps Lance Corporal Tanner J. Kaltenberg, three Marines found unresponsive, a tragic plane crash, a wildfire, and a hometown hero’s tragic passing – these are just some of the top stories making headlines in North Carolina in 2023.

In Eastern North Carolina, the year 2023 was marked by a series of news events that captured the attention of the public. The aftermath of a fatal plane crash in February resulted in wrongful death lawsuits being settled for the families of the victims. The tragic incident claimed the lives of four adults and four Carteret County teenagers. Another somber event was the tragic death of Dr. Roger McMurray, a beloved Greenville family physician who died while trying to help a driver involved in an incident on I-87 in Wake County.

Additionally, the Croatan National Forest wildfire that burned more than 32,000 acres placed the area under a cloud of smoke, impacting communities as far as New Bern and Grifton. Meanwhile, marine life was also in the spotlight as an unfortunate incident involving a Gervais’ Beaked Whale, which had ingested a plastic balloon, resulted in the whale’s death in Emerald Isle.

Family tragedies also made headlines, with the deaths of Charles Bailey, 59, and his wife, Suzanne Bailey, 58, both of Bath, in a boating accident in Beaufort County. The community also mourned the loss of Phillip Raymond Fulcher, 59, and William David Fulcher, 57, in a double homicide before the arrest of the suspect, David Ray Willis.

The year also witnessed other unforgettable events, including a dramatic armed standoff in Newport that ended with the deaths of a local hotel owner and an alleged suspect, and a hot air balloon emergency landing in Jacksonville. These stories stand as a testament to the resilience and somber moments experienced by the residents of Eastern North Carolina in 2023.