A helicopter carrying singer Troy Gentry, of the award-winning country music duo Montgomery Gentry, crashed Friday in New Jersey, killing Gentry and the pilot, the AP reports. The crash occurred in a wooded area as the helicopter approached the Flying W Airport in Medford hours before Montgomery Gentry was due to perform at a resort housed at the airport, authorities said. The band's website called Gentry's death "tragic" and said details of the crash were unknown. "Troy Gentry's family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time," the website said. Gentry, who was 50 years old, was from Kentucky.
Police got a call at about 1pm of a helicopter that was in distress, said Joel Bewley, a spokesperson for the Burlington County prosecutor's office. The helicopter crashed as emergency crews arrived at the scene. Crews removed Gentry, who was a passenger, from the wreckage, but he was pronounced dead at a hospital, Medford police Chief Richard Meder said. Members of the country duo's band including the other half of the duo, Eddie Montgomery, were at the airport when the helicopter crashed, Meder said. They were taken to the hospital to see Gentry, he said. Montgomery Gentry had success on the country charts and country radio in the 2000s, scoring No. 1 hits with Roll With Me, Back When I Knew It All, Lucky Man, Something to Be Proud Of, and If You Ever Stop Loving Me.