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World News

Assistant pastor dies as small plane crashes into house in Mississippi

by Cara Bentley

An assistant pastor in Mississippi has died after his house caught fire when a small plane crashed into it while him and his family were sleeping. 

Gerry Standley, 55, was an assistant pastor at his church and worked for a paving company. He had just celebrated his 22nd wedding anniversary with his wife Melinda and posted Bible verses everyday on his Facebook page. 

At 11:20pm of 4th May, an airplane crashed into their home on Annie Christie Drive in Hattiesburg and he died in the incident. 

Gerry, Melinda, their daughter Arrianna and grandson Eli were all in the house when it caught fire. Melinda and their daughter and grandson were able to get out of the house with only minor injuries. 

Three others also died in the plane, including a two-year-old. The passengers were on their way to a university graduation ceremony. 

Hattiesburg Police Department, where Melinda works, have let the community know that mental health services and counselling has been made available and that a funding page has been set up for Melinda and the family for funeral expenses, bills, replacing items they lost in the fire and any other financially needs. 

Melinda has also asked people to pray for her Mother-in-law, saying this is the second child she has lost. 


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