Nancy Parker, New Orleans TV anchor known for hard news with heart, dies in plane crash

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The charred wreckage of a private plane is seen in a field near the Industrial Canal and New Orleans Lakefront airport, in New Orleans, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. The city said on its “Nola Ready” website that firefighters, emergency medical services and the police responded to the fatal crash Friday afternoon. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(CBSN) — New Orleans TV anchor Nancy Parker died in a fatal plane crash along side pilot Franklin Augustus on Friday, according to Mayor of New Orleans. The small aircraft went down in a field near New Orleans Lakefront Airport, CBS affiliate New Orleans WWL-TV reports.

The award-winning anchor was working on a story about a pilot whose work included helping at-risk youth when the fatal crash occurred. Parker spent 25 years as a broadcast journalist at WVUE Fox 8 and earned a reputation as a journalist who covered hard news but with tremendous heart, according to WWL-TV.

Parker was also active in the community as a speaker and active supporter of dozens of non-profits as well as community groups.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell released a statement expressing admiration for Parker’s work as a reporter. “She told it to us straight, but with a combination of professionalism, intelligence, warmth and grace we may never experience again. New Orleans did not just lose a five-time Emmy-winning journalist, or a familiar, comforting face on our TV screens. We lost a loving mother of three, a beautiful human being, and an invaluable member of our community,” Cantrell said.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards called the fatal crash a “shocking loss” in a statement on Twitter. “Please join your prayers to mine and Donna’s for Nancy’s husband and three children as they come to terms with this shocking loss,” Edwards wrote.

WWL-TV reports Parker and her husband, Glynn Boyd, met while covering a political race in Tuskegee, Alabama. Boyd, who now works as a public information officer, also spent many years as a TV reporter. 

“I remember noticing her when I walked in,” Boyd said about meeting Parker for the first time. “I noticed she was really aggressive and asking all of the smart questions.”

Saturday, Boyd wrote a heartfelt post to Facebook sharing the family’s loss.

My heart is shattered. The dearest and most wonderful person in my life is gone. Our Nancy was an amazing human…

Posted by Glynn Boyd on Saturday, August 17, 2019

Parker was a 1988 graduate of The University of Alabama. Sunday, Mark Nelson, Dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences, released a statement on Parker’s passing.

Nancy used her time and talent to give back to our community through her service and unwavering support. She was passionate about mentoring rising journalists and teaching them how to tell meaningful stories. She became a close friend to me personally and to all who worked with her as a member of the C&IS Board of Visitors.
 
In 1988, Nancy graduated from the College of Communication and Information Sciences Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. In 2015, she was honored with the College’s Bert Bank Distinguished Service Award and joined the College’s Board of Visitors in 2017. She frequently connected with students as a mentor and shared her experiences, advice and her fun-loving spirit.
 
Nancy was a joy to have on our board and a remarkable professional. Our college was better because of her support and guidance. We will miss her deeply.

Mark Nelson, Dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences at The University of Alabama

This is a CBS News story.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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