Dr. Doucet with his children, two of whom died with him on a plane crash
Dr. Doucet with his children, two of whom died with him on a plane crash

Doctor & two children killed in TN plane crash were on their way to pick up oldest daughter in Louisville, KY

GONZALES — Three people from the same family were killed after their private plane left Gonzales, Louisiana and crashed in Tennessee on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. 

Baton Rouge’s plastic surgeon Dr. Lucius Doucet, who owned the plane, was the pilot. Along for the ride to Louisville, KY were two of his three children, daughter Gisele Doucet & son Jean-Luc Doucet. Dr. Doucet’s family-friend told UWK that Gisele and Jean-Luc would have been graduating from LSU on Friday, May 17, and the trio was on their way to pick up Dr. Doucet’s oldest daughter and Gisele & Jean-Luc’s older sister in Kentucky, where she is doing her residency. The group was then scheduled to fly back to Louisiana to celebrate the graduations. 

Dr. Doucet and his three children, two who died in the plane crash on way to Louisville, KY
Dr. Doucet and his three children, two who died in the plane crash on way to Louisville, KY

The news of the deadly crash left Dr. Doucet’s family-friend Beth James in shock.

“I was actually driving and had to pull over on the side of the road. I just couldn’t breathe. I think the word that everyone is used as, you know, shock,” she said. James and Doucet’s parents lived next door to each other in Opelousas with the two growing up together.

Doucet’s daughter Gisele would be graduating veterinary school while Jean-Luc would be graduating engineering school from LSU. 

However, the plans were cut short when the plane shattered into pieces near Franklin, TN after Noon on May 15. 

UWK has confirmed that the Beechcraft 35 Bonanza departed Gonzales at 8:53 a.m. Residents reportedly began calling 911 at 12:05 p.m. to report a possible plane crash after hearing a loud sound and spotting debris.

Flight records indicate the plane “was destroyed following an inflight breakup and impact with terrain near Franklin, TN.” The pilot and two passengers died in the crash.

Flight records also show the plane cruising at 7,000 feet before climbing to 9,600 feet. Then, there was a rapid descent. 

Dr. Doucet's flight path before plane crash in TN
Dr. Doucet’s flight path before plane crash in TN

Flight records also show the plane cruising at 7,000 feet before climbing to 9,600 feet. Then, there was a rapid descent.

Dr. Doucet’s family-friend Beth James told UWK the two grew up together after they were neighbors in Opelousas.

“Well, he was an extraordinary man. He was a plastic surgeon so he’s extremely meticulous. He was generous in spirit. He did a lot of things kind of quietly behind the scenes to help people. He was beloved by his patients. I mean I knew him since we were children but I didn’t really know him as a physician because he wasn’t my physician, but you can tell his patients absolutely loved him,” said James.

James added that flying was nearly second nature in Opelousas so she too knew how to fly, but did not compare to Dr. Doucet’s expertise on aviation.

“He was excellent. I actually flew with him. I consider myself, you know, a novice compared to him,” said James. “But I grew up like he did in Opelousas, Louisiana, where there was just lots of aviation constantly. I mean, my father flew, all of our friends parents flew, there was an extraordinary amount of World War II pilots who came out of this area for some reason. So we always looked at flying as something that you just had to do. I mean, everyone did it. So he was interested in aviation from a really young age. It’s been a long time that he has had his license.”

But the thing that confuses her most is given how meticulous he was, the deadly ending does not make sense.

“He was not a novice pilot. He had another plane before this one that was a Piper. That’s the one I flew with him in, and it was meticulously maintained. All the equipment was the latest of everything. I just know that he wouldn’t have gone up in the air unless this plane was in the same condition. The thing that kept me up last night all night is trying to figure out what happened, because when you have somebody who has aircraft that’s maintained and who has a lot of experience, not to mention has his family in the plane, they’re going to go above and beyond. Plus, he didn’t take any risks as a pilot,” James added.

Doucet worked at Williamson Cosmetic, which released a statement Thursday regarding his passing.

Dr. Lucius Doucet, killed in plane crash in Tennessee

Dr. Lucius Doucet, killed in plane crash in Tennessee

“Dr. Doucet was not only an exceptional surgeon but also a compassionate man who touched the lives of countless individuals within our community, the statement said. “His dedication to his patients was unmatched and his kindness and empathy were felt by all who had the privilege of knowing him.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on the latest news across the Capital area. 

3 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Interested in advertising with us?

We’d love to have you on the team! Drop us a line and we’ll be happy to follow up. 

Categories

Let's Connect

Follow along on your favorite social media platform and get the latest updates directly in your feed!

Got a tip on a story?
Search

Submit a Tip

Have a tip on a story? Send it directly to our team using the form below!