Ex-Cherry Point Marine killed in a Louisiana helicopter crash: remembered as selfless soul
A former Cherry Point Marine, local volunteer firefighter and Bridgeton paramedic died in a tragic Louisiana helicopter crash on Dec. 14, but his service to others will never be forgotten.
Joshua Hawley, 42, was a pilot from the Baton Rouge area and the only person aboard the Bell 407 helicopter when he was on his way to pick up three passengers in New Orleans, according to Louisiana authorities.
There was heavy fog in the area and Hawley's helicopter hit an Entergy Louisiana transmission line before crashing into the I-10 Bonnet Carre Spillway near New Orleans.
David Hawley, Joshua Hawley's brother, is shocked by the occurrence because he said his brother was a passionate pilot who took safety seriously.
"Aviation was a real passion and he looked for ways to do it safely, which is part of the reason this thing is so shocking," said David Hawley. "Josh was really regarded as a safety conscious aviator."
After graduating high school in 1997, Joshua Hawley joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served for 13 years. He moved around through the years and eventually was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.
A previous report states Joshua Hawley was awarded Cherry Point family of the quarter in June, 2010 at the New Bern Golf and Country Club.
He was a Sergeant while he was stationed at Cherry Point and was the noncommissioned officer in charge of the electric shop.
Though he is a Louisiana native, his time in the New Bern area established a long list of accolades.
Joshua Hawley served as the captain of a Craven County volunteer fire department for 18 months, committed more than 2,000 volunteer hours as an emergency medical technician with Bridgeton EMS and dedicated more than 500 hours to the New Bern Craven County squad, a previous report shows.
In his spare time, he also taught CPR to more than 90 people.
"This was a theme for Josh. He did about 10 different things at once," David Hawley said. "He was extremely curious and always looking into doing the next new thing."
After Joshua Hawley's time here in Eastern NC, he moved back home to Louisiana in 2010 and achieved his life-long dream to become a helicopter pilot and flight instructor in 2016.
Added to his list of accomplishments, he fulfilled being a eagle scout, drone pilot, airplane mechanic, electrical instrumentation technician, assistant coroner, "master of dad jokes," and most importantly he was a devoted husband and father to three boys.
In between flight school and his time as an instructor, he married his wife of eight years, Carly Weeks, and grew his family from two to five.
David Hawley said when he's asked to describe his brother, the word pilot appears. David Hawley was also a private pilot and aviation was a passion him and Joshua Hawley shared.
"Being a pilot requires mastery of mind, body and machine, " David Hawley said. "And it requires an understanding of nature and requires risk management, a cool head. It's a difficult thing to do, but it's a worthy thing to strive for and Josh loved it."
He said he will miss how he could call his brother and talk about anything the most.
"Just his enthusiasm for life was infectious," David Hawley said.
Joshua Hawley is preceded in death by his mother, Katy Maxwell.
Along with his wife, three sons and his brother, he is survived by his father and stepmother, stepfather, his sister, half sister, step siblings and a large and loving extended family.