William Michael Gilliland died when his plane hit a wire before it crashed into the back yard of a home Friday afternoon. A second person on the plane suffered critical injuries.
Gilliland's wife, Angie, released the following statement:
"The many acts of heroism that surround the rescue of his co-pilot and attempted rescue of Bill were all sacrificial in nature and mere words cannot express the gratitude our family feels for your actions.
Those special people know who they are. They are the ones who so fearlessly dropped everything and rushed into the face of danger to try to rescue two men. Our family and our community are blessed by your bravery. Thank you for your heroic deeds and the high value you placed on not one, but two human lives. Our prayers remain with the Elliot family.
Bill brought joy to his family and others as he lived life as a man committed to Christ."