The missing F-35 military jet presumed to have crashed in South Carolina over the weekend was “almost going inverted” in the moments before the disaster, a witness is claiming.
Adrian Truluck told NBC News that she and her husband Stephen were celebrating their son’s 7th birthday at their home in Williamsburg County on Sunday afternoon when they spotted the low-flying aircraft.
“Our kids always give a little salute, so we said, ‘Look at the plane. Oh my gosh, it’s so low,'” she said. “And it was kind of probably 100 feet above the treetops, and almost going inverted.”
“It was probably three quarters of the way,” Stephen Truluck told NBC News, noting that they could “see the canopy” of the jet.
The couple then said they heard a “boom” sound moments later and learned the following day that a debris field was found just miles away from their rural South Carolina home, NBC News also reported.
Joint Base Charleston said on Sunday that personnel from the facility and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort “are responding to a mishap involving an F-35B Lightning II jet from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.”
“The pilot ejected safely and was transferred to a local medical center in stable condition,” it said at the time. “Emergency response teams are still trying to locate the F-35.”
On Monday, Joint Base Charleson said the same personnel located a debris field in Williamsburg County.
“The debris was discovered two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston,” it said. “Teams from Joint Base Charleston, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing out of MCAS Cherry Point, Navy Region Southeast, the FAA, the Civil Air Patrol, as well as local, county, and state law enforcement across South Carolina have been working together to locate the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B.”
“Members of the community should avoid the area as the recovery team secures the debris field,” Joint Base Charleston added.
Another witness in South Carolina, Randolph White, has gone viral after appearing on a local news station and imitating a screeching sound that he says he heard at the time of the crash.