Mayor: Loss of four in plane crash leaves 'void in our heart'

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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT/WKYT) - The sudden loss of four Somerset residents left the Kentucky town in shock.

A plane crash in Barren County on Sunday claimed the lives of attorney Scott Foster, his son, 15-year-old Noah Foster, Dr. Kyle Stewart, a local dentist, and Somerset Police chaplain Doug Whitaker. All four were well-known in the Somerset community.

"Each of these individuals were contributing to our community... Tragically being taken away from us leaves a void in our heart," said Mayor Eddie Girdler.

Scott Foster was a prominent attorney. You have probably seen his ads on television. The mayor says he came to him recently with some wonderful ideas to improve the city.

“When you think of Scott Foster, the first thing you do is smile. Always a good joke for you. Or a funny story,” said his friend Robert Norfleet.

Noah Foster was a sophomore at Pulaski County High School. Principal Rodney McAninch said Monday was a somber day at the school.

Doug Whitaker was a chaplain for the Somerset Police Department and had also recently started working in Scott Foster's law office.

“Where we all are grieving and hurting for him and his family. He would be here worrying about us,” said Somerset Police Chief William Hunt.

Whitaker attended Grace Baptist Church in Somerset. The pastor there says many people are wondering why this happened.

"The only answer I know is, 'I don't know.' Do I believe there is a why behind this? Yes, I do believe there is. I believe God has a purpose and God has a plan. Why he would take a 40-year-old who has a family who loves him? I don't know," said Pastor Bill Haynes.

Dr. Kyle Stewart was a dentist. His bio says he often when to Africa on medical mission trips. He touched many lives, including the life of friend and fellow duck hunter Jason Weatherford.

"Kyle was one of those people who was just larger than life. He walks into a room, and everybody wants to be around him. He had a contagious laugh, smile," said Weatherford.

"It was devastating. I couldn't sleep. All I could think about is what happened to them. Everyone that's affected. Family members. There are lots of kids left behind and it's devastating," Weatherford added.

Stewart worked on the Committee of Lake Cumberland Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, a conservation organization.

All four of the men killed were supporters of the organization and were returning from a duck hunting trip in Tennessee when their plane crash.

"Care and conservation for their natural resources and taking care of their fellow man. I think that's a pretty nice legacy to leave behind," said Jeff Adams, District Chairman of the Lake Cumberland Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.

Mayor Girdler says Somerset will be doing several things to pay honor and respect to the four victims, including lowering the flags to half-staff for three days.

Funeral arrangements are still pending for each victim. Lake Cumberland Funeral Home will handle Scott and Noah Foster's arrangements, Pulaski Funeral Home will handle Doug Whitaker's, and Southern Oaks will handle Kyle Stewart's.

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