LUMBERTON, N.J. (AP) — Troy Gentry, one half of the award-winning country music duo Montgomery Gentry, died Friday in a helicopter crash just hours before a concert, according to a statement from the band’s website. He was 50.
The helicopter crashed into a wooded area near the Flying W Airport in Medford hours before Montgomery Gentry was due to perform at a resort that is also housed at the airport. The airport announced the cancellation of the gig Friday afternoon.
The band’s website called Gentry’s death “tragic” and said details of the crash are unknown.
Medford Township Police Chief Richard Meder told NJ.com that police got a call about a helicopter “that was distressed” around 1 p.m.
He said crews were able to remove the passenger from the wreckage, but he died on the way to a hospital. The pilot died at the scene and crews were working to remove his body, Meder said.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Gentry was the pilot or the passenger.
Gentry was born on April 5, 1967, in Lexington, Kentucky, where he met bandmate Eddie Montgomery and formed a group based off their last names.
The duo had success on the country charts, scoring five No. 1 hits. The band was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2009.