Five years ago Oxford was stunned and saddened by the news of a downed airplane with six Oxonians on board.
Dr. Jason Farese, his wife Dr. Lea Farese, Dr. Michael Perry, his wife Kim, and Dr. Austin Poole and his wife Angie died in the crash that happened near Tuscaloosa on Aug. 14, 2016. All three couples lived in Oxford.
They were flying back to Oxford from a dental convention in Kissimmee, Florida, when the crash occurred in Northport, Alabama, at 11:20 a.m.
Collectively, they left behind 11 children.
The Fareses owned the Farese Dental Clinic in Oxford. Dr. Michael Perry owned Mid-South Dental Implants & Periodontics. His wife, Kim, was a nurse practitioner who worked part-time for the University of Mississippi. Dr. Austin Poole owned Poole Dental Clinic in Clarksdale. Angie Poole was his office manager.
The community immediately responded, showing an outpouring of love, support and grief.
Businesses hung black and white signs that read “Oxford Mourns.” A similar logo replaced hundreds of Facebook profile pictures.
A community prayer vigil was held the day after the crash in the Grove. Thousands later attended a community memorial service at the Tad Smith Coliseum on the campus of the University of Mississippi.