A Navy fighter pilot and former Evans resident died Friday during a training exercise.
Lt. Jeremy S. Wise, 28, a 1998 graduate of Lakeside High School, was killed in a midair collision during a routine training exercise in northern Nevada, according to Associated Press reports.
Lt. Wise's F/A-18C Hornet and an F-5 Tiger jet collided while conducting aerial maneuvers. The pilots of the other jet parachuted to safety and suffered minor injuries.
"He always wanted to fly jets," said Newton Bakley, Lt. Wise's grandfather. "There was never anything else for him."
Lt. Wise attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, Fla., and earned a degree in aeronautics, Mr. Bakley said.
"He was checking things out and noticed the program the Navy had for jet fliers," he said. "He fell in love with that and went after it."
Lt. Wise was stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va. He was set to deploy this year on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, his grandfather said.
Mr. Bakley called his grandson a "focused individual."
"He always had to be No. 1 in whatever he was doing," Mr. Bakley said. "There was one program in the Navy in which he came in second out of 47 people, and that just burned him up. He was just that kind of guy."
Lt. Wise is also survived by his wife, Sonia; son, Leam, 2; parents, Army Col. Patricia Wise and Richard Wise; brother, Christopher Wise; sister, Caitlyn Gibbons; and grandmother Margaret Bakley.
"The family was extremely proud of what he has achieved," Mr. Bakley said. "We just regret this accident cut his life short because we thought he had a great career ahead of him."
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday in Virginia.
Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or firstname.lastname@example.org.