'Morgan was a leader’: Union Co. schools mourn death of Weddington High grad killed in Navy training plane crash

Military pilot from Union County killed in crash

WEDDINGTON, N.C. (WBTV) - A local high school is mourning the death of one of its graduates.

Morgan Garrett, 24, was an athlete and a scholar at Weddington High School in Union County.

She was a star on the track and cross country teams and was a member of the National Honor Society, according to people who knew Morgan in high school.

Garrett, a 2015 graduate of Weddington High School, died Friday evening when the two-person U.S. Navy training plane she was in crashed in Alabama. The Navy confirmed her death on Sunday.

“Weddington High School mourns the loss of our 2015 graduate, Morgan Garrett, who died while serving our nation,” Union County Public Schools said in a statement. “Morgan was a leader in the classroom, on the athletic fields and in our local community. Her leadership, commitment to excellence and infectious smile left a lasting impression on our school community. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time.”

The district hasn’t said if or how they are going to honor Garrett.

The U.S. Navy says Garrett, from Weddington, N.C., was on the U.S. Navy T-6B Texan II trainer aircraft traveling from Florida that crashed in an Alabama residential neighborhood near the Gulf Coast, killing both people in the plane. No civilians were injured in the crash.

She was a student aviator with the U.S. Coast Guard, according to the U.S. Navy.

U.S. Navy Lt. Rhiannon Ross, 30, from Wixom, Michigan, the training instructor, was also killed in the crash.

“Their spirit, friendship, and devotion to their country will not be forgotten,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

According to Military.com, Garrett was a 2019 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, where she served as regimental activities officer and was a middle distance runner on the track and field team, according to a message to cadets and family members from Superintendent Rear Adm. Bill Kelly.

In high school, Garrett was a member of the National Honor Society and captain of her track and cross-country teams, and she finished sixth in the state in 2015 in the 4 x 800 relay.

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