Today we’re learning more about the two Midlanders killed in yesterday’s plane crash in Alpine, Texas. Guy Richard Folger, 78, and Mary Folger, 73, were on an air ambulance en route to a hospital in Midland from Alpine when the plane suddenly hit the ground. Two nurses and a pilot were also on board when the plane went down; they all died on impact.
Mary Bryant knew Richard and Mary for more than three decades. The longtime neighbors also did business deals together. Bryant said she last saw Mary about two weeks ago.
“She had some problems, but not anything I thought was serious," said Bryant.
On the Fourth of July, Mary was being airlifted to Midland because she was apparently having hip problems. A person driving on Highway 118 called 911 to inform authorities about the crash.
"[Details caller gave authorities] It hit the ground, starts skidding across the top of a small, little mountain. When it went off the other side they said it caught on fire," said Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson.
Sheriff Dodson said the plane was fully engulfed in flames when authorities got on scene.
“It exploded several times because probably the oxygen tanks and stuff and then the fuel,” said Sheriff Dodson.
Joseph Rhode’s was one of Richard’s best friends. The two knew each other for 28 years. He said the Folgers were really active in the church.
"Participating in many things, including contributing financially to a number of projects, not only here in St. Ann's parish, but in San Angelo Diocese as well,” he said.
The Folgers owned the Folger Galleries in Midland. Rhode said art was Richard’s passion.
“He was a sponsor for many artists who have subsequently become well- known and famous around the country for their art work,” said Rhode.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were at the crash site for several hours today. They’re investigating what caused the air ambulance to crash.
These are the names of the other people that were killed in the plane crash:
Ted Caffarel from Beaumont (the pilot)
Sharon Falkner from Fort Davis (nurse)
Tracy Chambers from Alpine (nurse)